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p. ^. HerJ^m. 











12 School Street. 


Zerah Colburn, 
Baratiere, . 
Beronicius, . 
Master Clench, 
Jedediah Buxton 
William Gibson, 
Edmund Stone, 
Richard Evelyn, 
Quentin Matsys, 
West, . 
Berretini, . 
Henry Kirk White, 
Elihu Burritt, 
George Morland, 
William Penn, 
John Smith, 
Ethan Allen, 
David Crockett, 
Daniel Boone, 






























Charles XII. of Sweden, 172 

The Cid, ... 181 

Robin Hood, 191 

Paul Jones, 203 

Masaniello, 213 

RiENZi, 219 

Selkirk, 222 

John Law, ■ . . . .226 

Trenck, 230 

John Dunn Hunter, 236 

Caspar Hauser, 254 

Psalmanazar, 262 

Valentine Greatrakes, 265 

Matthew Hopkins, 268 

Peter, the wild boy, 271 

John Kelsey, 274 

Bamfylde Moore Carew, 278 

John Elwes, 282 

Baron D'Aguilar, 290 

Thomas Guy, 292 

Old Parr, 294 

O'Brien, 298 

Maxamillian Christopher Miller, .... 300 

Huyalas, 301 

Thojias Topham, 303 

Foster Powell, 305 

Joseph Clark, 307 

Edward Bright, 309 

Daniel Lambert, 310 

Jeffrey Hudson, 312 

Joseph Boruwlaski, 314 

The Siamese Twins, 318 



Among the intellectual prodigies which sometimes 
appear to excite the wonder and astonishment of man- 
kind, Zerah Colburn was certainly one of the most 
remarkable. He was born at Cabot, Vermont, Sept. 
1st, 1804. He was the sixth child of his parents, 
who were persons in low circumstances and of little 
education. He was regarded as the most backward 
of the children till he was about six years old, when 
he suddenly attracted attention by the display of his 
astonishing powers. 

In August, 1810, when his father, Abia Colburn, 
was one day employed at a joiner's work-bench, Zerah 
was on the floor, playing among the cbips ; suddenly, 
he began to say to himself, — 5 times 7 are 35 — 6 
times 8 are 48, &c. His father's attention was imme- 
diately arrested by hearing this, so unexpected in a 
child so young, and who had hitherto possessed no 
advantages, except perhaps six weeks' attendance at 


the district school, that summer. He therefore left his 
work, and turning to the child, began to examine him 
in the multiplication table. He thought it possible 
that Zerah had learnt this from the other boys ; but 
finding him perfect in the table, his attention was 
more deeply fixed, and he asked the product of 13x97, 
to which 1261 was instantly given as the answer. 
He now concluded that something unusual had actu- 
ally taken place ; indeed, he has often said he should 
not have been more surprised if some one had risen 
up out of the earth and stood erect before him. 

It was not long before a neighbor rode up, and stop- 
ping at the house, was informed of the singular occur- 
rence. He desired to be a witness of the fact. Zerah 
was called, and the result of the examination aston- 
ished every one present. The strange phenomenon 
was now rapidly spread throughout the town. Though 
many were inclined to doubt the correctness of the 
reports they heard, a personal examination attested 
their truth. Thus the story originated, which within 
the short space of a year found its way not only 
through the United States, but also reached Europe, 
and extorted expressions of wonder from foreign jour- 
nals of literature and science in England, France and 
other countries. 

Very soon after the discovery of his remarkable 
powers, many gentlemen, at that time possessing 
influence and public confidence throughout the state, 
being made acquainted with the circumstances, were 
desirous of having such a course adopted as might 
most directly lead to a full development of Zerah's 
talents, and their application to purposes of general 


Utility. Accordingly, it was proposed that Mr. Col- 
burn should carry his son to Danville, to be present 
during the session of the court. This was done, and 
the boy was very generally seen and questioned by 
the judges, members of the bar, and others. 

The legislature of Vermont being about to convene 
at Montpelier, Mr. Colburn was advised to visit that 
place with his son, which they did in October. Here 
large numbers had an opportunity of witnessing his 
calculating powers, and the conclusion was general 
that such a thing had never been known before. 
Many questions, which were out of the common limits 
of arithmetic, were proposed, with a view to puzzle the 
child, but he answered them correctly ; as, for instance, 
— which is the most, twice twenty-five, or twice five 
and twenty? Ans. Twice twenty-five. Which is 
the most, six dozen dozen, or half a dozen dozen ? 
Ans. Six dozen dozen. Somebody asked him how 
many black beans would make five white ones. Ans. 
Five, if you skin them ! Thus it appeared that the 
boy could not only compute and combine numbers 
readily, but that he also possessed a quickness of 
thought, somewhat uncommon among children, as to 
other things. 

Soon after this, Mr. Colburn took his son to other 
large towns, and at last to Boston. Here the boy 
excited the most extraordinary sensation, and several 
gentlemen of the highest standing proposed to under- 
take his education. The terms, though very liberal, 
were not equal to the high-raised expectations of the 
father. The offer was therefore refused, and Mr. 
Colburn proceeded to the southern cities, exhibiting 


his son in public, Jiis performances everywhere ex- 
citing the utmost wonder. 

The author of these pages had an opportunity of 
seeing Zerah Colburn, at this period. He was a 
lively, active hoy, of light complexion, his head being 
rather larger than that of boys generally at his age. 
He was then six years old, and had the manners com- 
mon to children of his age. He was playful, even 
while performing his calculations. The quickness 
and precision with which he gave answers to arith- 
metical questions was amazing. Among those pro- 
posed to him at Boston, in the autumn of the year 
1810, were the following : 

What is the number of seconds in 2000 years? 
The answer, 63,072,000,000, was readily and accu- 
rately given. Another question was this : Allowing 
that a clock strikes 156 times in a day, how many 
times will it strike in 2000 years? The cliild 
promptly replied, 113,800,000 times. 

What is the product of 12,225, multiplied by 1,223 ? 
Ans. 14,951,175. What is the square of 1,449? 
Ans. 2,099,601. Suppose I have a corn-field, in 
which are seven acres, having seventeen rows to 
each acre, sixty-four hills to each row, eight ears 
on a hill, and one hundred and fifty kernels on an ear ; 
how many kernels in the corn-field ? Ans. 9,139,- 

It will be recollected that the child who answered 
these questions Avas but six years old ; that he had 
then had no instruction whatever in arithmetic ; .that 
he could neither read nor write, and that he performed 
these immense calculations by mental processes, wholly 




his own. His answers were usually given, and the 
calculations performed, while engaged in his sports, 
and the longest process seemed hardly to divert his 
mind from his amusements. His answers were often 
made almost as soon as the question was proposed, 
and in most cases before the process could be per- 
formed on paper. 

His faculty for calculation seemed to increase, and 
as he became acquainted with arithmetical terms, his 
performances Avere still more remarkable. In June, 
1811, he was asked the following question: If the 
distance between Concord and Boston bo sixty-five 
miles, how many steps must I take in going this dis- 
tance, supposing each step to be three feet ? The 
answer, 114,400 steps, was given in ten seconds. 
He was asked how many days and hours had elapsed 
since the Christian era commenced. In twenty sec- 
onds he replied, 661,015 days, 15,864,360 hours. 

Questions still more difficult were answered with 
similar promptitude. What sum multiplied by itself 
will produce 998,001 ? In less than four seconds he 
replied 999. How many hours in thirty-eight years, 
two months, and seven days ? The answer, 334,488, 
was given in six seconds. 

These extraordinary performances, witnessed by 
thousands of people, and among them persons of the 
highest standing, were soon reported in the papers, 
and attracted scarcely less attention in Europe than 
in this country. In England, particularly, great curi- 
osity was expressed, and the plan of taking young 
Colburn thither was suggested. After some delibe- 
ration, this project was resolved upon ; and in the 


spring of 1812, the father and son embarked at Bos- 
ton for Liverpool, where they landed on the 11th of 
May. They proceeded to London, and taking rooms 
at Spring Gardens, commenced their exhibition. 

Great numbers came to witness the performances 
of the boy, among whom Zerah, in his Life, enume- 
rates the dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland, LorCt 
Ashburton, Sir James Mackintosh, Sir Humphrey 
Davy, and the Princess Charlotte. The latter, atten- 
ded by her tutor, the bishop of Salisbury, remained 
a full hour, and asked a number of questions. 
Among the rest was this : What is the square of 
4001? The answer, 16,008,001, was immediately 
given. The duke of Cambridge asked the number 
of seconds in the time elapsed since the commence- 
ment of the Christian era, 1813 years, 7 months, 27 
days. The answer was correctly given, 57,234,384,- 

An extraordinary interest was excited in London 
in respect to this remarkable youth, and schemes for 
giving him an education suited to his turn of mind 
were suggested. At a meeting of several distin- 
guished gentlemen, to mature some plan of this sort, 
various questions were proposed to the child. He 
multiplied the number eight by itself, and each pro- 
duct by itself, till he had raised it to the sixteenth 
power, giving, as the almost inconceivable result, 
281,474,976,710,656. He was asked the square root 
of 106,929, and before the number could be written 
down, he answered 327. He was then requested 
to name the cube root of 268,336,125, and with equal 
facility and promptness he replied, 645. 


A likeness of the young prodigy, drawn by Hull 
and engraved by Meyer, was now published, and sold 
at a guinea each. Many were sold, and a considerable 
profit was realized. Another scheme was now started, 
— a memoir of the child, — and among the committee to 
superintend its publication, were Sir James iMackin- 
tosh, Sir Humphrey. Davy and Basil Montague. 
Several hundred subscribers were obtained, but, though 
many paid in advance, for some reason or other the 
work was never published. Young Colburn and his 
father now made a tour to Ireland and Scotland. 
Among his visitors in Scotland, were Dugald Stew- 
art, Professor Playfair, Doctor Brewster and Doctor 
Macknight. In March, 1814, they returned to Lon- 
don. By the advice of friends, they now proceeded 
to Paris, where they arrived in July, 1814. 

Zerah was carefully examined before the French 
Institute. It is curious that on this occasion he was 
longer in giving his answers than ever before ; pro- 
bably owing to some embarrassment. His perform- 
ances, however, excited here, as everywhere else, the 
greatest astonishment. La Place, the author of the 
M^chanique Celeste, was present. Guizot received 
the youth at his house, and expressed in his behalf 
the liveliest interest. 

Such was the feeling excited, that a project was 
set on foot for giving Zerah an education at the Royal 
College of Henry IV. Nothing was wanting but the 
sanction of the king ; but at the precise moment when 
measures were in progress to secure this object, 
Bonaparte came back from Elba, sweeping every- 
thing before him. The Bourbons fled, and the em- 


peror was reinstated upon his throne. Application 
was now made to him in behalf of young Colburn; 
his assent was obtained, and on the 13th May, 1815, 
he entered the seminary, which was now restored to 
its original title, the Lyceum Napoleon. 

Mr. Colburn had, in England, Scotland and Paris, 
obtained a large number of subscribers to the memoir. 
Having placed his son in the Lyceum, he went to 
London to attend to the publication of the work. 
Here he met with bitter disappointment. His agent, 
who had been authorized to collect the money, had 
received about one third of the whole subscriptions, 
and appropriated the money to his own use. As he 
was poor, the whole sum was irretrievably lost. At 
the same time, Mr. Colburn found that his former 
friends were greatly chagrined to find that the French 
government, more liberal than themselves, had made 
provision for his son. Under this influence, the pro- 
ject of the memoir was abandoned, and a new scheme 
was proposed, the object of which was to raise two 
hundred pounds a year for six years, to defray the 
expenses of the boy's education. 

While Mr. Colburn was pursuing this scheme, 
Zerah was at the Lyceum at Paris, which now be- 
came the theatre of the most interesting events. The 
battle of Waterloo was fought, Napoleon fled, and 
the French army retreated toward the capital. To 
this point, the hostile armies were now directing their 
march, and the citizens of Paris were roused for its de- 
fence. Every effort was made to strengthen the walls 
and throw up entrenchments. The scholars at the 
Lyceum received permission to join in this work, and 


with enthusiastic ardor, heightened by their sympathy 
for Napoleon, they went to their tasks, crying, " Vive 
rEmpe7'eur." Our little mathematician was among 
the number, and if he could have multiplied forts as 
easily as he managed figures, Paris would, doubtless, 
have been saved. But the fortune of war decided 
otherwise. Paris was overwhelmed. Napoleon de- 
throned, and Louis XVIII. restored. 

ZerahColburn might have continued at the Lyceum, 
but his foolish father, having embraced the London 
scheme, proceeded to Paris, and carried him thence 
again to London, where they arrived February 7, 

The scheme which had excited Mr. Colburn's hopes, 
was, however, a mere illusion. His friends were 
worn out with his importunities, and, doubtless, dis- 
gusted with his fickleness. They were dissatis- 
fied by discovering that while he wished to obtain 
a provision for his son, he desired also that some emol- 
ument, sufficient for his own wants, should come to 
himself. The result was, that both the father and 
son were reduced to a state of poverty. While at- 
tempting, by means scarcely better than beggary, to 
obtain transient support, they chanced to call upon 
the Earl of Bristol, who received them kindly, and 
expressed great interest in the youthful calculator. 
He invited them to his country residence at Putney, 
whither they went, and spent several days. The 
result of this fortunate acquaintance was, that the 
Earl made a provision of six hundred and twenty 
dollars a year for young Colburn's education at West- 
minster school, where he was regularly entered on 


the 19th September. At this period, he was a few 
days over twelve years old. 

It now seemed that better fortunes had dawned 
upon this gifted, but still unfortunate boy ; but these 
were soon clouded by disappointment. The custom 
of fagging existed in this school, as in all the higher 
seminaries of England. By this system, the boys 
of the under classes were required to be waiters and 
servants of those in the upper classes. Zerah was 
subjected to this arrangement, and a youth in the 
upper school was pitched upon for his master. This 
was the son of a baronet. Sir John L. Kaye. 

Soon after he had been initiated into these menial 
duties, one of the upper scholars called upon him to 
perform some servile task. This he accomplished, 
but not to the satisfaction of his employer. He there- 
fore complained to young Kaye, his proper master, 
whose wrath being greatly excited, he fell upon poor 
Zerah, twisted his arm nearly out of joint, and, plac- 
ing him in a helpless situation, beat his shoulder black 
and blue. Zerah went to his father, who immediately 
proceeded to Mr. Knox, the usher. The latter ex- 
pressed regret for the abuse Zerah had received, but 
when the father claimed exemption for his son from 
the custom of fagging, the usher positively refused 
compliance. Mr. Colburn enjoined it upon his son 
by no means to submit to this system of drudgery 
again, and departed. In the evening, he was called 
upon to clean a pair of shoes. This he refused; 
whereupon, a number of the larger boys, who had 
gathered around him, first threatened, and then beat 
him without mercy, until at last he complied. All 


this occurred under the same roof where the usher 
then was. In the morning, the father came, and 
appealing to him, was treated wdth contempt. As he 
was going across the yard to see Dr. Page, the head 
master, the hoys yelled at him from their windows, 
calling him Yankee ; doubtless, deeming it the most 
opprobrious of epithets. The final result of this mat- 
ter was, that Zerah was exempted from the custom 
of fagging, though no relaxation of the custom, gen- 
erally, was made in the school. 

Zerah continued at Westminster, spending his 
vacations with the Reverend Mr. Bullen, Lord Bris- 
tol's chaplain, at the village of Danton. His father, 
in the mean time, picked up the means of subsistence, 
partly by boarding his son and a few other scholars, 
and partly by contributions. At length, the Earl, 
who w^as now in Germany, made an arrangement for 
the removal of Zerah from the Westminster school 
to the exclusive charge of Mr. Bullen. Mr. Colburn 
objected to this, and wrote accordingly to Lord Bris- 
tol. The latter persisted in his plan, and in order to 
reconcile the father to it, offered him fifty pounds a 
year for his own personal use. With stubbornness, 
amounting to infatuation, he rejected the generous 
offer, and withdrew his son from the Westminster 
school, and the patronage of his noble friend. 

Young Colburn had spent two years and nine 
months at the Westminster seminary ; where his 
progress in the acquisition of languages and other 
studies was extremely rapid. Euclid's Elements of 
Geometry were mastered with ease ; but it is a curious 
fact that while the boy was fascinated with arithme- 



tical calculations, as he advanced into the ahstruser 
portions of mathematics, his taste revolted from a 
pursuit that was dry and repulsive. 

Again the father and son were afloat in the sea of 
London. "What was to be done now? The educa- 
tion of his son was, doubtless, an object to Mr. Col- 
burn ; but, with blind selfishness, he seems to have 
thought more of turning him to account as a means 
of raising money. With this view he proposed that 
he should go upon the stage ; no doubt supposing 
that the youth's notoriety would render him available 
in this capacity. He was put in training, under the 
care of Charles Kemble. After four months' tuition, 
he appeared at Margate in the character of Nerval. 
His reception was tolerably flattering, but he obtained 
no compensation. Mr. Colburn now determined to 
exhibit his son in his new profession, in Scotland and 
Ireland; but being almost entirely destitute of money, 
they were obliged to take a steerage passage in a 
vessel, and subsist upon hard fare. They arrived at 
Edinburgh, but received no encouragement in the 
theatrical line. Mr. Colburn called upon his former 
friends, and they contributed to his immediate relief. 
They now proceeded by canal-boat to Greenock, and 
thence in a vessel to Belfast. Here they found a stroll- 
ing company of players, with whom an arrangement 
was made for Zerah's appearance at Londonderry, 
whither the party were about to proceed ; to that place 
father and son journeyed on foot. Here the latter per- 
formed in some inferior characters, and soon returned 
with the band to Belfast. At this place he played 
the part of Richard the Third — but alas ! even this 


master-stroke of policy failed. The father and son 
pushed on to Dublin, but they could get no engage- 
ment at the theatre. 

The inventive resources of Abia Colburn were not 
yet exhausted. Zerah must now turn author — and 
the future Methodist preacher must write a play ! 
The subject chosen was that of Tasso's Jerusalem 
Delivered. The drama was composed — and we be- 
lieve it was actually performed. But, alas ! says 
Zerah, in his honest, modest book — " it never had any 
merit or any success." 

After an absence of two months, the wanderers 
returned to London. A long period of inaction fol- 
lows, during which Zerah wrote plays, which were 
never printed or performed, and the father picked up 
a precarious living by levying contributions upon 
his former friends. These were at last worn out with 
his importunities, and finally, one of the best of them 
deliberately turned Zerah out of doors, when he came 
upon some errand from his father. 

Deprived of all other means save that of begging, 
which was now a poor resource, the youth obtained 
employment in October, 1S21, as an usher in a school, 
and soon after established one on his own account. 
This afforded so poor a support, that still another 
effort was made to raise funds, ostensibly to provide 
for his permanent relief. To obtain subscribers to 
this proposal, Zerah went to Edinburgh, Glasgow and 
Belfast. At the former place, Mr. Combe took a cast 
of his head, seeking thereby to throw light upon his 
phrenological theories. He returned to London, with 
little success, and resumed his school. 


The health of his father now began to give way. 
Unhappily, he had, from the first discovery of his son's 
extraord'inary gifts, looked upon them with mercenary 
feelings — as a source of revenue. It is true he had a 
father's love for his child — and in this respect, Zerah, 
in the simple memoir of his own life, does his parent 
more than justice ; but still, it was this short-sighted 
selfishness which made him convert his child's en- 
dowments into a curse to him, to his friends, and 
Zerah himself. His expectations had been lifted to 
such a pitch, that nothing could satisfy them. The 
most generous offers fell short of what he felt to be 
his due ; liberality was turned, in his mind, to parsi- 
mony — and even friends were regarded as little short 
of enemies. His sanguine temper led him constantly 
to indulge high hopes, which were as constantly 
doomed to disappointment. Such a struggle could 
not always last. His mind was torn with thoughts 
of his home and family neglected for twelve years ; 
of his life wasted ; his prospects defeated ; of fond 
dreams, ending at last in failure, shame and pov- 
erty. He failed gradually, and on the 14th February, 
1824, he died. A few days after, the body was con- 
signed to the tomb, and Zerah, in his life, notices the 
fact that John Dunn Hunter was among the mourn- 
ers. We mention this, as coinciding with the account 
we have given in this volume of that extraordinary 

Zerah continued in London for a few months, in 
the employment of Mr. Young, in making astronom- 
ical calculations. He had, however, a desire, enforced 
by his father's death-bed injunctions, to return to his 


country, and his mother, at Cabot. Again aided by 
his friend, Lord Bristol, he was provided with neces- 
sary means, and in June, 1824, he arrived at New 
York. On the third of July he approached his mother's 
door. He found there an elderly woman, and being 
uncertain who it was, he asked if she could tell him 
where the widow Colburn lived. " I am she," was 
the reply. 

The mother of Zerah Colburn was a remarkable 
woman. During the long absence of her husband, 
with a family of eight children, and almost entirely 
destitute of property, she had sustained the burthen 
with indomitable energy. She wrought with her 
own hands, in house and field ; bargained away the 
little farm for a better ; and, as her son says, " by 
a course of persevering industry, hard fare, and trials 
&uch as few women are accustomed to, she has hitherto 
succeeded in supporting herself, besides doing a good 
deal for her children." 

Zerah Colburn was now unable to offer much aid 
to his mother or the family. He found employment 
for a time as a teacher; but his mind at last was 
impressed with religious views, and after some vicis- 
situdes of life, and many fluctuations of feeling, he 
finally adopted the Methodist faith, and became a 
humble but sincere preacher of that sect. With pious, 
patient assiduity he continued in this career for a 
number of years. He published a modest memoir of 
his life and adventures, from which we have gathered 
the greater part of our account, — and at last became 
professor of the Greek, Latin, French and Spanish 
languages, as well as of classical literature, in the" Ver- 


mont University," at Norwich. At this place he died, 
March 2d, 1840, in the thirty-eighth year of his age. 

Whoever has carefully attended to the facts stated 
in the early part of this notice, will be prepared to 
admit that Zerah Colburn was one of the most aston- 
ishing intellectual prodigies that has ever appeared. 
Totally uninstructed in figures, at the age of six years, 
he was able to perform mental operations which no 
man living, by all the training of art, is able to accom- 
plish. It had been stated by scientific men, that no 
rule existed for finding the factors of numbers ; yet 
this child discovered a rule by which he ascertained 
results of this kind, accessible only to skilful arithme- 
ticians. In the London prospectus, the following facts, 
in relation to this point, are stated, which cannot fail 
to excite astonishment. 

At one of his exhibitions, among various questions, 
it was proposed that he should give the factors of 
171,395 — and he named the following as the only 
ones: 5x34279; 7X22485; 59x2905; 83x2065; 
35X4897; 295X581; 413x415. He was then 
asked to give the factors of 36,083 ; but he immedi- 
ately replied that it had none, which is the fact, it 
being a prime number. " It had been asserted and 
maintained by the French mathematicians that 4294- 
967297, was a prime number; but the celebrated 
Euler detected the error by discovering that it w^as 
equal to 641x6,700,417. The same number was 
proposed to this child, who found out the factors by 
the mere operation of his mind." 

Great pains were taken to discover the processes 
by which this boy performed his operations. For a 


long time he was too ignorant of terms, and too little 
accustomed to watch the operations of his mind, to do 
this. He said to a lady, in Boston, who sought to 
make him disclose his mode of calculation, " I cannot 
tell you how I do these things. God gave me the 
power." At a subsequent time, however, while at 
the house of Mr. Francis Bailey, in London, upon 
some remark being made, the boy said suddenly, and 
without being asked — " I will tell you how I extract 
roots." He then proceeded to tell his operations. 
This is detailed in Zerah's book ; but it in no degree 
abates our wonder. The rule does not greatly facil- 
itate the operation ; it still demands an effort of mind 
utterly beyond the capacity of most intellects ; and 
after all, the very rule itself was the invention of a 

As he did not at first know the meaning of the 
word factor, when desired to find the factors of a par- 
ticular number, the question was put in this form — 
" What two numbers multiplied together will produce 
such a number ? " His rule for solving such problems 
was sought for with much curiosity. At last this 
was discovered. While in Edinburgh, in 1813, he 
being then nine years old, he waked up one night, 
and said suddenly to his father — " I can tell you how 
I find the factors ! " His father rose, obtained a light, 
and wrote down the rule, at Zerah's dictation. 

It appears that when he came to maturity, these 
faculties did not improve ; and after a time he was 
even less expert in arithmetical calculations than 
when he was ten years old. It is probable, his whole 
mind was weakened, rather than strengthened, by the 


peculiar circumstances of his life. As a preacher, he 
was in no way distinguished. He says this in his 
book, with simple honesty ; and seems at a loss to 
understand the design of Providence in bestowing 
upon him so stupendous a gift, which, so far as he 
was able to discover, had produced no adequate 

He suggests, indeed, a single instance, in which an 
atheist in Vermont, who witnessed his performances 
in childhood, was induced to reflect upon the almost 
miraculous powers of the mind, and led to the con- 
clusion that it must have an intelligent author. He 
saw that which was as hard to believe, as much beyond 
the routine of experience, as any miracle — and hence 
fairly concluded that miracles could be true. By this 
course of reflection he was induced to reject his infi- 
delity, and afterwards became a sincere Christian. 

This, we doubt not, was one of the designs of Prov- 
idence, in the bestowment of Zerah Colburn's won- 
derful gifts. But their use should not be confined 
to an individual case. If there is argument for God 
in a flower, how much more in a child of Zerah Col- 
burn's endowments ? What infidelity can withstand 
such an instance, and still say, there is no God ? And 
farther, let us reflect upon the noble powers of the 
mind, and rejoice, yet with fear and trembling, that 
we are possessors of an inheritance, which, at God's 
bidding, is capable of such mighty expansion. 

The history of Zerah Colburn may teach us one 
thing more — that the gifts of genius are not always 
sources of happiness to the possessor ; that mental 
affluence, like worldly riches, often brings sorrow, 



rather than peace to the possessor ; and that moderate 
natural gifts, well cultivated, are generally the most 
useful in society, and most conducive to the happiness 
of the possessor. 

Zerah Colbum, at eight years of age. 


John Philip Baratiere was a most extraordinary 
instance of the early and rapid exertion of mental 
faculties. He was the son of Francis Baratiere, min- 
ister of the French church at Schwoback, near Nu- 
remberg, where he was born, January 10, 1721. The 
French was his mother tongue, and German was the 
language of the people around him. His father 
talked to him in Latin, and with this he became 
familiar ; so that, without knowing the rules of gram- 
mar, he, at four years of age, talked French to his 
mother, Latin to his father, and High Dutch to the 
servants and neighboring children, without mixing or 
confounding the respective languages. 

About the middle of his fifth year, he acquired a 
knowledge of the Greek; so that in fifteen months 
he perfectly understood all the Greek books in the 
Old and New Testament, which he translated into 
Latin. When five years and eight months old, he 
entered upon Hebrew ; and in three years more, was 
so expert in the Hebrew text, that, from a Bible with- 
out points, he could give the sense of the original in 
Latin or French, or translate, extempore, the Latin or 


French versions into Hebrew. He composed a dic- 
tionary of rare and difficult Hebrew words ; and about 
his tenth year, amused himself, for twelve months, 
with the rabbinical writers. 

He now obtained a knowledge of the Chaldaic, 
Syriac and Arabic ; and acquired a taste for divinity 
and ecclesiastical antiquity, by studying the Greek 
fathers of the first four ages of the church. In the 
midst of these occupations, a pair of globes coming 
into his possession, he could, in eight or ten days, 
resolve all the problems upon them ; and in January, 
1735, at the age of fourteen, he devised his project 
for the discovery of the longitude, which he commu- 
nicated to the Royal Society of London, and the Roy- 
al Academy of Sciences at Berlin ! 

In June, 1731, he was matriculated in the univer- 
sity of Altorf ; and at the close of 1732, he was pre- 
sented by his father at the meeting of the reformed 
churches of the circle, at Franconia ; who, astonished 
at his wonderful talents, admitted him to assist in the 
deliberations of the synod ; and, to preserve the me- 
mory of so singular an event, it was registered in 
their acts. In 1734, the Margrave of Brandenburg, 
Anspach, granted this young scholar a pension of 
fifty florins ; and his father receiving a call to the 
French church at Stettin, in Pomerania, young Bar- 
atiere was, on the journey, admitted master of arts. 
At Berlin, he was honored with several conversations 
with the king of Prussia, and was received into the 
Royal Academy. 

Towards the close of his life, he acquired a con- 
siderable taste for medals, inscriptions, and antiquities, 



metaphysical inquiries, and experimental philosophy. 
He wrote several essays and dissertations ; made 
astronomical remarks and laborious calculations ; 
took great pains towards a history of the heresies of 
the Anti-Trinitarians, and of the thirty years' war in 
Germany. His last publication, which appeared in- 
1740, was on the succession of the bishops of Rome. 
The final work he engaged in, and for which he had 
gathered large materials, was Inquiries concerning the 
Egyptian Antiquities. But the substance of this 
blazing meteor was now almost exhausted ; he was 
always weak and sickly, and died October 5th, 1740, 
aged nineteen years, eight months, and sixteen days. 
Baratier published eleven different pieces, and left 
twenty-six manuscripts, on various subjects, the con- 
tents of which may be seen in his Life, written by Mr. 
Formey, professor of philosophy at Berlin. 


Pierre Gassendi, one of the most famous natu- 
ralists and philosophers of France, was born at Chan- 
tersier, January 22, 1592, of poor parents. They 
were, however, wise and virtuous people, and per- 
ceiving the extraordinary gifts of their son, did every- 
thing in their power to promote his education. At 
the age of four years, young Pierre used to declaim 
little sermons of his own composition, which were 
quite interesting. At the age of seven, he would 
steal away from his parents, and spend a great part 
of the night in observing the stars. This made his 
friends say he was born an astronomer. At this age, 
he had a dispute with some boys, whether it was the 
moon or the clouds that moved so rapidly ; to convince 
them that it was the latter, he took them behind a 
tree, and made them take notice that the moon kept 
its situation between the same leaves, while the clouds 
passed on. 

This early disposition to observation led his parents 
to place him under the care of the clergyman of the 
village, who gave him the first elements of learning. 

Gassendi and the Boys, 


His ardor for study then became extreme : the day- 
was not long enough for him ; and he often read a 
great part of the night by the light of the lamp that 
was burning in the church of the village, his family 
being too poor to allow him candles for his nocturnal 
studies. He often took only four hours sleep in the 
night. At the age of ten, he harangued his bishop 
in Latin, who was passing through the village on his 
visitation ; and he did this with such ease and spirit, 
that the prelate exclaimed — " That lad will, one day 
or other, be the wonder of his age." The modest 
and unassuming conduct of Gassendi gave an addi- 
tional charm to his talents. 

In his manners, this remarkable youth was in gen- 
eral silent, never ostentatiously obtruding upon others, 
either the acuteness of his understanding, or the elo- 
quence of his conversation ; he was never in a hurry 
to give his opinion before he knew that of the per- 
sons who were conversing with him. When men of 
learning introduced themselves to him, he was con- 
tented with behaving to them with great civility, and 
was not anxious to surprise them into admiration. 
The entire tendency of his studies was to make him- 
self wiser and better ; and to have his intention more 
constantly before his eyes, he had all his books in- 
scribed with these words, Sapere aude ; "Dare to be 

Such was Gassendi's reputation, that at sixteen he 
was called to teach rhetoric at the seminary of Digne ; 
in 1614, he was made professor of theology in the 
same institution ; and two years after, he was invited 
to fill the chair of divinity and philosophy at Aix. 


After passing through various promotions, and pub- 
lishing several works of great merit on philosophical 
subjects, Gassendi went at last to Paris, where he 
gained the friendship of Cardinal Richelieu, and 
shared the admiration of the learned world with the 
famous philosopher, Descartes. 

Being appointed a professor of mathematics in the 
College Royal of Paris, he gave his attention to 
astronomical subjects, and greatly increased his repu- 
tation. After a life devoted to science, in which his 
achievements were wonderful, he died at Paris, Octo- 
ber 14, 1655, aged sixty-three years. Distinguished 
by his vast learning, his admirable clearness of mind, 
the diversity of his acquirements, the calmness and 
dignity of his character, and the amiableness of his 
manners, Gassendi was alike one of the brightest 
ornaments of his age and of human nature. 


Blaise Pascal " perhaps the most brilliant intel- 
lect that ever lighted on this lower world," was bom 
at Clermont, in the province of Auvergne, on the 
19th of June, 1623. He was descended from one of 
the best families in that province. As soon as he 
was able to speak, he discovered marks of extraordi- 
nary capacity. This he evinced, not only by the gen- 
eral pertinency and acuteness of his replies, but also 
by the questions which he asked concerning the 
nature of things, and his reasonings upon them, 
which were much superior to what is common at his 
age. His mother having died in 1626, his father, 
who was an excellent scholar and an able mathema- 
tician, and who lived in habits of intimacy with sev- 
eral persons of the greatest learning and science at 
that time in France, determined to take upon himself 
the whole charge of his son's education. 

One of the instances in which young Pascal dis- 
played his disposition to reason upon cvrytliing, is the 
following. He had been told that God rested from his 
labors on the seventh day, and hallowed it, and had 
commanded all mankind to suspend their labor and 


do no work on the Sabbath. When he was about 
seven years of age, he was seen, of a Sabbath morn- 
ing, measuring some blades of grass. When asked 
what he was doing, he replied that he was going to 
see if the grass grew on Sunday, and if God ceased 
working on the Sabbath, as he had commanded man- 
kind to do ! 

Before young Pascal had attained his twelfth year, 
two circumstances occurred, which deserve to be re- 
corded, as they discovered the turn, and evinced the 
superiority, of his mind. Having remarked one day, 
at table, the sound produced by a person accidentally 
striking an earthenware plate with a knife, and that 
the vibrations were immediately stopped by putting 
his hand on the plate, he became anxious to investi- 
gate the cause of this phenomenon; he employed 
himself in making a number of experiments on sound, 
the results of which he committed to writing, so as to 
form a little treatise on the subject, which was found 
very correct and ingenious. 

The other occurrence was his first acquisition, or, 
as it might not be improperly termed, his invention 
of geometry. His father, though very fond of mathe- 
matics, had studiously kept from his son all the means 
of becoming acquainted with this subject. This he 
did, partly in conformity to the maxim he had hith* 
erto followed, of keeping his son superior to his task; 
and partly from an apprehension that a science so 
engaging, and at the same time so abstracted, and 
which, on that account, was peculiarly suited to the 
turn of his son's mind, would probably absorb too 


much of his attention, and stop the progress of his 
other studies, if he were at once initiated into it. 

But the activity of an inquisitive and penetrating 
mind is not to be so easily restrained. As, from re- 
spect to his father's authority, however, the youth had 
so far regarded his prohibition as to pursue this study 
only in private, and at his hours of recreation, he 
went on for some time undiscovered. But one day, 
while he was employed in this manner, his father 
accidentally came into the room, unobserved by Pas- 
cal, who was wholly intent on the subject of his 
investigation. His father stood for some time unper- 
ceived, and observed, with the greatest astonishment, 
that his son was surrounded with geometrical figures, 
and was then actually employed in finding out the 
proportion of the angles formed by a triangle, one 
side of which is produced ; which is the subject of 
the thirty-second proposition in the First Book of 

The father at length asked his son what he was 
doing. The latter, surprised and confused to find his 
father was there, told him he wanted to find out this 
and that, mentioning the different parts contained in 
that theorem. His father then asked how he came 
to inquire about that. He replied, that he had found 
out such a thing, naming some of the more simple 
problems ; and thus, in reply to diflferent questions, 
he showed that he had gone on his own investigations, 
totally unassisted, from the most simple definition in 
geometry, to Euclid's thirty-second proposition. This, 
it must be remembered, was when Pascal was but 
twelve years of age. 


His subsequent progress perfectly accorded with 
this extraordinary display of talent. His father now 
gave him Euclid's Elements to peruse at his hours 
of recreation. He read them, and understood them, 
without any assistance. His progress was so rapid 
that he was soon admitted to the meetings of a soci- 
ety of which his father, Roberval, and some other 
celebrated mathematicians were members, and from 
which afterwards originated the Royal Academy of 
Sciences, at Paris. 

During Pascal's residence with his father at Rouen, 
and while he was only in his nineteenth year, he 
invented his famous arithmetical machine, by which 
all numerical calculations, however complex, can be 
made by the mechanical operation of its different 
parts, without any arithmetical skill in the person 
who uses it. He had a patent for this invention in 
1649. His studies, however, began to be interrupted 
when he reached his eighteenth year by some symp- 
toms of ill health, which were thought to be the effect 
of intense application, and which never afterwards 
entirely quitted him ; so that he was sometimes accus- 
tomed to say, that from the time he was eighteen, he 
had never passed a day without pain. But Pascal, 
though out of health, was still Pascal ; ever active, 
ever inquiring, and satisfied only with that for which 
an adequate reason could be assigned. Having heard 
of the experiments instituted by Torricelli, to find out 
the cause of the rise of water in fountains and pumps, 
and of the mercury in the barometer, he was induced 
to repeat them, and to make others, to satisfy himself 
upon the subject. 


In 1654, he invented his arithmetical triangle, for 
the solution of problems respecting the combinations 
of stakes, in unfinished games of hazard ; and long 
after that, he wrote his Demonstrations of the Prob- 
lems relating to the Cycloid ; besides several pieces 
on other subjects in the higher branches of the mathe- 
matics, for which his genius was probably most fitted. 
Pascal, though not rich, was independent in his cir- 
2umstances ; and as his peculiar talents, his former 
habits, and the state of his health, all called for re- 
urement, he adopted a secluded mode of life. From 
1655, he associated only with a few friends of the 
same religious opinions with himself, and lived for 
the most part in privacy in the society of Port Royal. 

At this period, the Catholics being divided into 
Jesuits and Jansenists, Pascal, being of the latter, 
published his famous Provincial Letters. These are 
so distinguished for their admirable wit, their keen 
argument, and their exquisite beauty of style, as to 
have even extorted praise from Voltaire and D'Alem- 
bert. He also wrote other pieces against the Jesuits, 
marked with great talent. 

Pascal's health, however, continued to decline ; and 
it is probable that his mind suffered in consequence. 
Though his life had been singularly blameless, still 
he seemed to be pained with a sense of inward sin. 
He was accustomed to wear an iron belt around his 
waist, in which were sharp points, upon which he 
would strike his elbows, or his arms, when any un- 
holy passion crossed his mind. He continued to 
ractise charity toward all mankind, and severe aus- 
terities to himself, until at last he was attacked with 


sickness, and on the 19th of August, 1662, he died. 
His last words were, " May God never forsake me ! " 
The latter part of his life was wholly spent in 
religious meditations, though he committed to paper 
such pious thoughts as occurred to him. These were 
published after his death, under the title of " Thoughts 
on Religion and other Subjects." They have been 
greatly admired for their depth, eloquence and Chris- 
tian spirit. 

Pascal. ' 


Hugo Grotius, celebrated for his early display of 
genius and learning, as well as for his adventures and 
writings in after life, was born at Delft, in Holland, 
April 10, 1583. He had the best masters to direct 
his education, and from childhood, was not only 
distinguished by the great brilliancy of his mind, but 
also by his application to study. Such was his pro- 
gress, that, at eight years of age, he composed Latin 
elegiac verses of great cleverness, and at fourteen, he 
maintained public theses in mathematics, law, and 
philosophy with general applause. His reputation 
by this time was established, and he was mentioned 
by the principal scholars of the age, as a prodigy of 


learning, and as destined to make a conspicuous fig- 
ure in the republic of letters. 

In 1598, he accompanied Barnevelt, ambassador 
extraordinary of the Dutch Republic, in a journey to 
France, where he was introduced to Henry IV., who 
was so pleased with his learning, that he presented 
him with his picture and a gold chain. While in 
France, he took the degree of doctor of laws. The 
following year he commenced practice as an advocate, 
and pleaded his first cause at Delft. In the same 
year, though then only seventeen, he was chosen his- 
toriographer to the United Provinces, in preference 
to several learned men who were candidates for that 

Grotius now rapidly rose in rank and reputation : 
he published several works of great merit, and was 
appointed to various public offices of high trust. On 
one occasion he was sent by the government to Eng- 
land to attend to some negotiations, at which time he 
became acquainted with King James IL But serious 
religious difficulties now began to agitate Holland. 
In 1618, a synod met at Dort to take these into con- 
sideration. They proceeded to condemn the Armi- 
nian doctrines, and to banish all the preachers who 
upheld them. Barnevelt, who was a celebrated states- 
man, Grotius, and Hoogurbetz, advocated these sen- 
timents ; they were tried and condemned ; the first 
was executed and the two others were sentenced to 
perpetual imprisonment. 

In his prison of Louvestien, Grotius found conso- 
lation in literary pursuits. His wife, after much 
entreaty, was permitted to visit him, and she did 


everything which the most devoted affection could 
suofofest, to alleviate his confinement. She was ac- 

CO ' 

customed to send him books in the chest which was 
conveyed out and in, with his linen : this was carefully 
examined by the jailer, for a time, but finding nothing 
amiss, he became less suspicious and careful. 

Taking notice of this, the wife of Grotius, after he 
had been confined about two years, devised a scheme 
for his escape. She pretended to have a large quan- 
tity of books to send away. Having a small chest of 
drawers, about three feet and a half long, she packed 
her husband into it, and it was carried out by two 
soldiers, who supposed they were transporting a 
quantity of books. The chest was now put on a 
horse, and carried to Gorcum, where the illustrious 
prisoner was set at liberty. 

Disguised in the dress of a mason, with a rule and 
a trowel in his hand, he fled to Antwerp, which was 
not under the government of the Stadtholder, Prince 
Maurice, who had caused his imprisonment. Here 
he wrote to the State's General of Holland, asserting 
his innocence of any wrong, irr the course he had 
taken, and for which he had been deprived of liberty. 
He afterwards went to Paris, where he received a 
pension from the king. 

After the death of Prince Maurice^ his confiscated 
property and estates were restored, and he returned 
to Holland ; but he still found such a spirit of rancor 
against him, among the principal persons, that he left 
the country forever, and took up his residence at 
Hamburgh. Here he received the most flattering 
proposals from the kings of Portugal, Spain, Den- 


mark, and other countries, who admired his great 
abilities, and desired him to seek sheUer and protec- 
tion with them. 

He finally adopted Sweden as his country, and 
becoming the queen's ambassador to France, he 
proceede°d, in that character, to Paris, where, for eight 
years, he sustained the interests of his patron with 
firmness and dignity. At last, being weary of public 
life, he solicited^his recall. In August, 1648, he em- 
barked for Lubec, where he intended to reside ; but, 
meeting with a dreadful storm, he was driven upon 
the coa'st of Pomerania, and obliged to take a land 
journey of sixty miles, in order to reach Pvoslock, 
during which he was exposed to the rain and in- 
clement weather. A fever soon set in, and at 
midnight, on the 2Sth of August, the illustrious stran- 

ger died. 

Grotius has left behind him many works, some of 
them of great value. His treatise upon the "Truth 
of the Christian Religion," written in Latin, like his 
other productions, is one of the best defences of that 
system which has ever appeared. His work on the 
law of Peace and War, is still of high authority. We 
must look upon Grotius as a man of great acuteness, 
as well as vast expanse of mind. He was, indeed, 
in advance of his generation, and, like other patriots 
and philanthropists, who see farther than those around 
them, he was an object of hatred and disgust, for 
those very things which in an after age brought him 
the homage and gratitude of mankind. In an intol- 
erant age, Grotius was in favor of toleration, and this 
alone was a crime which his generation could not 
forget or forgive. 


Sir Isaac Newton, the greatest of natural philos- 
ophers, was born at Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire, 
December 25, 1642, old style. At his birth he was 
so small and weak that his life was despaired of. On 
the death of his father, which took place while he 
was yet an infant, the manor of Woolsthorpe became 
his heritage. His mother sent him, at an early age, 
to the village school, and in his tAvelfth year, to the 
seminary of Grantham. 

While here he displayed a decided taste for me- 
chanical and philosophical inventions ; and avoiding 
the society of other children, provided himself with a 
collection of saws, hammers, and other instruments, 
with which he constructed models of many kinds of 
machinery. He also made hour-glasses, acting by 
the descent of water. A new windmill, of a peculiar 
construction, having been erected in the town, he 
studied it until he succeeded in imitating it, and 
placed a mouse inside, which he called the miller. 

Some knowledge of drawing being necessary in 
these operations, he applied himself, without a mas- 
ter, to the study ; and the wails of his room were 


covered with all sorts of designs. After a short 
period, however, his mother took him home, for the 
purpose of employing him on the farm and about the 
affairs of the house. She sent him several times to 
market, at Grantham, with the produce of the farm. 
A trusty servant was sent with him, and the young 
philosopher left him to manage the business, while 
he himself employed his time in reading. A sun- 
dial, which h*e constructed on the wall of the house at 
Woolsthorpe, is still shown. His irresistible passion 
for study and science finally induced his mother to 
send him back to Grantham. Here he continued for a 
time, and was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, 

At the latter place he studied mathematics with the 
utmost assiduity. In 1667, he obtained a fellowship ; 
in 1669, the mathematical professorship ; and in 1671, 
he became a member of the Royal Society. It was 
during his abode at Cambridge that he made his 
three great discoveries, of fluxions, the nature of light 
and colors, and the laws of gravitation. To the latter 
of these his attention was first turned by his seeing 
an apple fall from a tree. The Principia, which un- 
folded to the world the theory of the universe, was 
not published till 1687. In that year also Newton 
was chosen one of the delegates to defend the privi- 
leges of the university against James II. ; and in 1688 
and 1701 he was elected one of the members of the 
university. He was appointed warden of the mint in 
1696 ; he was made master of it in 1699 ; was cho- 
sen president of the Royal Society in 1703; and was 
knighted in 1705. He died March 20, 1727. 


His "Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel 
and the Apocalypse" appeared in 1733, in quarto. 
" It is astonishing," says Dr. Hutton, " what care and 
industry Newton employed about the papers relating 
to chronology, church history, &c. ; as, on examining 
them, it appears that many are copies over and over 
again, often with little or no variation." All the 
works of this eminent philosopher were^ published by 
Dr. Samuel Horsley, in 1779, in five volumes, quarto ; 
and an English translation of his " Philosophy Natu- 
ralis Principia Mathematicoe," is extant. 

The character of this great man has been thus 
drawn by Mr. Hume, in his history of England. " In 
Newton, Britain may boast of having produced the 
greatest and rarest genius that ever rose for the orna- 
ment and instruction of the human species. Cautious 
in admitting no principles but such as were founded 
on experiment, but resolute to adopt every such prin- 
ciple, however new or unusual ; from modesty, igno- 
rant of his superiority over the rest of mankind, and 
thence less careful to accommodate such reasonings 
to common apprehensions; more anxious to merit 
than acquire fame :— he was from these causes long 
unknown to the world ; but his reputation at last 
broke out with a lustre, which scarcely any writer, 
during his own lifetime, had ever before attained. 
While Newton seemed to draw ofT the veil from some 
of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same 
time some of the imperfections of the mechanical 
philosophy ; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets 
to that obscurity in which they ever did and ever will 


The remains of Sir Isaac Newton were interred in 
Westminster Abbey, where a magnificent monument 
is erected to his memory, with a Latin inscription, 
concluding thus : — " Let mortals congratulate them- 
selves that so great an ornament of human nature 
has existed." His character is shown, by Dr. Brew- 
ster, to have been that of the humble and sincere 
Christian. Of nature, antiquity, and the Holy Scrip- 
tures, he was a diligent, sagacious, and faithful inter- 
preter. He maintained by his philosophy the dignity 
of the Supreme Being, and in his manners he ex- 
hibited the simplicity of the Gospel. " I seem to 
myself," he said, " to be like a child, picking up a 
shell here and there on the shore of the great ocean 
of truth." He would hardly admit that he had a 
genius above other men, but attributed his discoveries 
to the intentness with which he applied to the study 
of philosophy. We cannot better close our notice of 
this great man, than in the words of Pope : 

" Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night — 
God said, ' let Newton be ' — and all was light ! " 


Antony Magliabecchi was born at Florence, on 
the 29th of October, in the year 1633. His parents 
were so poor as to be well satisfied when they got 
him into the service of a man who sold greens. He 
had not yet learned to read, but he was perpetu- 
'ally poring over the leaves of old books, that were 
used as waste paper in his master's shop. A book- 
seller who lived in the neighborhood, observed this, 
and knowing that the boy could not read, asked him 
one day what he meant by staring so much at pieces 
of printed paper ? He said, that he did not know 
how it was, but that he loved it of all things ; that he 
was very uneasy in the business he was in, and should 
be the happiest creature in the world if he could live 
with him, who had always so many books about him. 

The bookseller was pleased with this answer ; and 
at last told him, that if his master were willing to part 
with him, he would take him. Young Magliabecchi 
was highly delighted, and the more so, when his 
master, agreeably to the bookseller's desire, gave him 
leave to go. He went, therefore, directly to his new 
business. He had not long been there, before he could 
find out any book that was asked for, as readily as 
the bookseller himself. In a short period he had 
learned to read, and then he was always reading when 
he could find time. 


He seems never to have applied himself to any par- 
ticular study. A love of reading was his ruling pas- 
sion, and a prodigious memory his great talent. He 
read all kinds of books, almost indifferently, as they 
came into his hands, and that with a surprising quick- 
ness; yet he retained not only the sense, but often 
the words and the very manner of spelling. 

His extraordinary application and talents soon 
recommended him to Ermina, librarian to the Cardinal 
de Medicis, and Marmi, the Grand Duke's librarian. 
He was by them introduced to the conversation of the 
learned, and made known at court. He now began 
to be looked upon everywhere as a prodigy, particu- 
larly for his unbounded memory. 

In order to make an experiment in respect to this, a 
gentleman of Florence, who had written a piece, which 
was to be printed, lent the manuscript to Magliabec- 
chi. Sometime after it had been returned, he came 
to the librarian with a melancholy face, and told him 
that by some accident he had lost his manuscript ; and 
seemed almost inconsolable, entreating Magliabecchi, 
at the same time, to endeavor to recollect as much of 
it as he possibly could, and write it down. Maglia- 
becchi assured him he would do so, and on setting 
about it, wrote down the whole, without missing a 

By treasuring up everything he read, in this won- 
derful manner, or at least the subject, and all the prin- 
cipal parts of the books he ran over, his head became 
at last, as one of his acquaintance expressed it, " an 
universal index, both of titles and matter." 


By this time, Magliabecchi was grown so famous 
for the vast extent of his reading, and his amazing 
retention of what he had read, that it began to grow 
common amongst the learned to consuU him when 
they were writing on any subject. Thus, for instance, 
if a priest was going to compose a panegyric upon 
any favorite saint, and came to communicate his design 
to Magliabecchi, he would immediately tell him who 
had said anything of that saint, and in what part of 
their works, and that, sometimes, to the number of 
above a hundred authors. He would tell them not 
only who had treated of their subject designedly, but 
of such, also, as had touched upon it incidentally, in 
writing on other subjects. All this he did with the 
greatest exactness, naming the author, the book, the 
words, and often the very number of the page in which 
the passage referred to was inserted. He did this so 
often, so readily, and so exactly, that he came at last 
to be looked upon almost as an oracle, for the ready 
and full answers that he gave to all questions proposed 
to him in respect to any subject or science whatever. 

It was his great eminence in this way, and his 
almost inconceivable knowledge of books, that induced 
the Grand Duke, Cosmo the third, to make him his 
librarian. What a happiness must it have been to 
one like Magliabecchi, who delighted in nothing so 
much as reading, to have the command and use of 
such a collection of books as that in the Duke's pal- 
ace ! He was also very conversant v/ith the books in 
the Lorenzo library ; and had the keeping of those of 
Leopoldo, and Francisco Maria, the two cardinals of 


Magliabccchi had a local memory, too, of the places 
where every book stood, in the libraries which he fre- 
quented ; he seems, indeed, to have carried this even 
farther. One day the Grand Duke sent for him to 
ask whether he could get him a book that was partic- 
ularly scarce. " No, sir," answered Magliabecchi, " for 
there is but one in the world, and that is in the Grand 
Signior's library at Constantinople ; it is the seventh 
book on the second shelf, on the right hand, as you 
go in." \ 

Though Magliabecchi lived so sedentary a life, with 
such an intense and almost perpetual application to 
books, yet he arrived to a good old age. He died in 
his eighty-first year, on the 14th of July, 1714. By 
his will he left a very fine library, of his own collec- 
tion, for the use of the public, with a fund to maintain 
it ; and whatever should remain over, to the poor. 

In his manner of living, Magliabecchi affected the 
character of Diogenes ; three hard eggs, and a draught 
or two of water, were his usual repast. When his 
friends went to see him, they generally found him 
lolling in a sort of fixed wooden cradle, in the middle 
of his study, with a multitude of books, some thrown 
in heaps, and others scattered about the floor, around 
him. His cradle, or bed, was generally attached to 
the nearest pile of books by a number of cobwebs : at 
the entrance of any one, he used to call out, " Don't 
hurt my spiders ! '* 


James Crichton, commonly called ' The Admira- 
ble,' son of Robert Crichton, of Eliock, who was Lord 
Advocate to King Ja»nes VI., was born in Scotland, 
in the year 1561. The precise place of his birth is 
not mentioned, but he received the best part of his 
education at St. Andrews, at that time the most cele- 
brated seminary in Scotland, where the illustrious 
Buchanan was one of his masters. At the early age 
of fourteen, he took his degree of Master of Arts, and 
was considered a prodigy, not only in abilities, but in 
actual attainments. 

It was the custom of the time for Scotchmen of 
birth to finish their education abroad, and serve in 
some foreign army, previously to entering that of their 
own country. When he was only sixteen or seven- 
teen years old, Crichton's father sent him to the Con- 
tinent. He had scarcely arrived in Paris, which was 
then a gay and splendid city, famous for jousting, 
fencing, and dancing, when he publicly challenged all 
scholars and philosophers to a disputation at the Col- 
lege of Navarre. He proposed that it should be car- 
ried on in any one of twelve specified languages, and 
have relation to any science or art, whether practical 
or theoretical. The challenge was accepted ; and, as 
if to show in how little need he stood of preparation, 


or how lightly he held his adversaries, he spent the 
six weeks that elapsed between the challenge and the 
contest, in a continual round of tilting, hunting, and 

On the appointed day, however, and in the contest, 
he is said to have encountered all the gravest philoso- 
phers and divines, and to have acquitted himself to 
the astonishment of all who heard him. He received 
the public praises of the president and four of the 
most eminent professors. The very next day he ap- 
peared at a tilting match in the Louvre, and carried 
off the ring from all his accomplished and experienced 

Enthusiasm was now at its height, particularly 
among the ladies of the court, and from the versatility 
of his talents, his youth, the gracefulness of his man- 
ners, and the beauty of his person, he was named 
V Admirable. After serving two years in the army 
of Henry HI., who was engaged in a civil war with 
his Huguenot subjects, Crichton repaired to Italy, and 
repeated at Kome, in the presence of the Pope and 
cardinals, the literary challenge and triumph that had 
gained him so much honor at Paris. 

From Rome he went to Venice, at which gay city 
he arrived in a depressed state of spirits. None of 
his Scottish biographers are very willing to acknow- 
ledge the fact, but it appears quite certain, that, spite 
of his noble birth and connexions, he was miserably 
poor, and became for some time dependent on the 
bounty of a Venetian printer — the celebrated Aldus 
Manutius. After a residence of four months at Venice, 
where his learning, engaging manners, and various 


accomplishments, excited universal wonder, as is made 
evident by several Italian writers who were living at 
the time, and whose lives were published, Crichton 
went to the neighboring city of Padua, in the learned 
university of which he reaped fresh honors by Latm 
poetry, scholastic disputation, an exposition of the 
errors of Aristotle and his commentators, and as a 
playful wind-up of the day's labors, a declamation 
upon the happiness of ignorance. 

Another day was fixed for a public disputation in 
the palace of the bishop of Padua ; but this being pre- 
vented from taking place, gave some incredulous or 
envious men the opportunity of asserting that Crich- 
ton was a literary impostor, whose acquirements were 
totally superficial. His reply was a public challenge. 
The contest, which included the Aristotelian and pla- 
tonic philosophies, and the mathematics of the time, 
was prolonged during three days, before an innumera- 
ble concourse of people. His friend, Aldus Manu- 
tius, who was present at what he calls " this miracu- 
lous encounter," says he proved completely victorious, 
and that he was honored by such a rapture of applause 
as was never before heard. 

Crichton's journeying from university to university 
to stick up challenges on church doors, and college 
pillars, though it is said to have been in accordance 
with customs not then obsolete, certainly attracted 
some ridicule among the Italians ; for Boccalini, after 
copying one of his placards, in which he announces 
his arrival, and his readiness to dispute extempora- 
neously on all subjects, says that a wit wrote under 
it, " and whosoever wishes to see him, let him go to 


the Falcon Inn, where he will be shown," — which is 
the formula used by showmen for the exhibition of a 
wild beast, or any other monster. 

We next hear of Crichton at Mantua, and as the 
hero of a combat more tragical than those carried on 
by the tongue or the pen. A certain Italian gentle- 
man, " of a mighty, able, nimble, and vigorous body, 
but by nature fierce, cruel, warlike, and audacious, 
and superlatively expert and dexterous in the use of 
his weapon," was in the habit of going from one city 
to another, to challenge men to fight with cold steel, 
just as Crichton did to challenge them to scholastic 
combats. This itinerant gladiator, who had marked 
his way through Italy with blood, had just arrived in 
Mantau, and killed three young men, the best swords- 
men of that city. By universal consent, the Italians 
were the ablest masters of fence in Europe ; a repu- 
tation to which they seem still entitled. To encoun- 
ter a victor among such masters, was a stretch of 
courage ; but Crichton, who had studied the sword 
from his youth, and who had probably improved him- 
self in the use of the rapier in Italy, did not hesitate 
to challenge the redoubtable bravo. 

Though the duke was unwilling to expose so accom- 
plished a gentleman to so great a hazard, yet, relying 
upon the report he had heard of his warlike qualifica- 
tions, he agreed to the proposal ; and the time and 
place being appointed, the whole court attended to 
beJiold the performance. At the beginning of the 
combat, Crichton stood only upon his defence, while 
the Italian made his attack with such eagerness and 
fury, that, having exhausted himself, he began to grow 


weary. The young Scotsman now seized the oppor- 
tunity of attacking his antagonist in return ; which he 
did with so much dexterity and vigor, that he ran him 
through the body in three different places, of which 
wounds he immediately died. 

The acclamations of the spectators were loud and 
long-continued upon this occasion; and it was ac- 
knowledged by all, that they had never seen nature 
second the precepts of art in so lively and graceful a 
manner as they had beheld it on that day. To crown 
the glory of the action, Crichton bestowed the rich prize 
awarded for his victory, upon the widows of the three 
persons who had lost their lives in fighting with the 

In consequence of this and his other wonderful per- 
formances, the duke of Mantua made choice of him 
for preceptor to his son, Vicentio de Gonzago, who is 
represented as being of a riotous temper, and dissolute 
life. The appointment was highly pleasing to the 
court. Crichton, to testify his gratitude to his friends 
and benefactors, and to contribute to their diversion, 
framed a comedy, wherein he exposed and ridiculed 
the weaknesses and failures of the several occupations 
and pursuits in which men are engaged. This com- 
position was regarded as one of the most ingenious 
satires that ever was made upon mankind. But the 
most astonishing part of the story, is, that Crichton 
sustained fifteen characters in the representation of 
his own play. Among the rest, he acted the divine, 
the philosopher, the lawyer, the mathematician, the 
physician, and the soldier, with such inimitable skill, 
that every time he appeared upon the theatre, he 
seemed to be a different person. 


From being the principal actor in a comedy, Crich- 
ton soon became the subject of a dreadful tragedy. 
One night, during the time of Carnival, as he was 
walking along the streets of Mantua, and playing upon 
his guitar, he was attacked by half a dozen people in 
masks. The assailants found that they had no ordi- 
nary person to deal with, for they were not able to 
maintain their ground against him. At last the leader 
of the company, being disarmed, pulled off his mask, 
and begged his life, telling Crichton that he was the 
prince, his pupil. Crichton immediately fell upon his 
knees, and expressed his concern for his mistake; 
alleging that what he had done was only in his own 
defence, and that if Gonzago had any design upon his 
life, he might always be master ot it. Then, taking 
his own sword by the point, he presented it to the 
prince, who immediately received it, and was so irri- 
tated by the affront which he thought he had sus- 
tained, in being foiled with all his attendants, that he 
instantly ran Crichton through the heart. 

His tragical end excited very great and general 
lamentation. The whole court of Mantua went three- 
quarters of a year into mourning for him ; and nu- 
merous epitaphs and elegies were composed upon his 

To account in some manner for the extent of Crich- 
ton's attainments, it must be recollected that the first 
scholars of the age were his instructors : for, besides 
having Rutherford as a tutor, it is stated by Aldus 
Manutius, that he was also taught by Buchanan, Hess- 
burn, and Robertson; and hence his extraordinary 
proficiency in the languages, as well as in the sci- 



ences, as then taught in the schools of Europe. It 
must also be recollected that no expense would be 
spared in his education, as his father was Lord Advo- 
cate in Queen Mary's reign, from 1561 to 1573, and 
his mother, the daughter of Sir James Stuart, was 
allied to the royal family. It is evident, however, 
that these advantages were seconded by powers of 
body and mind rarely united in any human being. 


The history of this man is involved in some obscu- 
rity, yet enough is known to show that he was a per- 
son of wonderful endowments, and great eccentricity 
of life and character. 

In the year 1674, the celebrated Dutch poet, An- 
tonides Vander Goes, being in Zealand, happened to 
be in company with a young gentleman, who spoke 
of the wonderful genius of his language master. 
Vander Goes expressed a desire to see him, and while 
they were talking upon the subject, the extraordinary 
man entered. He was a little, sallow dumpling of a 
fellow, with fiery eyes, and nimble, fidgety motions ; 
he was withal a sight to see for the raggedness of his 

The strange man soon showed that he was drunk, 
and shortly after took his leave. But in a subsequent 
interview with the Dutch poet, he fully justified the 
character his pupil had given him. His great talent 
lay in being able with almost miraculous quickness, 
to turn any written theme into Latin or Greek verse. 
Upon being put to the trial, by Vander Goes, he suc- 
ceeded, to the admiration of all present. 

The poet had just shown him his verses, and asked 
his opinion of them. Bcronicius read them twice, 
praised them, and said, " What should hinder me from 



turning them into Latin instantly ? " The company 
viewed him with curiosity, and encouraged him by 
saying, " Well, pray let us see what you can do." In 
the meantime, the man appeared to be startled. He 
trembled from head to foot, as if possessed. However, 
he selected an epigram from the poems, and asked 
the precise meaning of two or three Dutch words, of 
which he did not clearly understand the force, and 
requested that he might be allowed to Latinize the 
name of Hare, which occurred in the poem, in some 
manner so as not to lose the pun. They agreed ; and 
he immediately said, •' I have already found it, — I shall 
call him Dasypus," which signifies an animal with 
rough legs, and is likewise taken by the Greeks for a 
hare. " Now, read a couple of lines at a time to me, 
and I shall give them in Latin," said he ; — upon which 
a poet named Buizero, began to read to him, and 
Beronicius burst out in the following verses : — 

Egregia Dasypus referens virtute leonem 
In bello, adversus Britonas super sequora gesto, 
Irapavidus pelago stetit, aggrediente molossum. 
Agmine quem tandem glans ferrea misit ad astra, 
Vindictre cupidum violate jure profundi. 
Advena, quisquis ades, Zelandae encomia gentis 
Ista refer, lepores demta quod pelle leonem, 
Assumant, quotquot nostro versantiu" in orbe. 
Epitaphium Herois Adriani de Haze, ex Belgico versum. 

When the poet had finished, he laughed till his sides 
shook ; at the same time he was jeering and pointing 
at the company, who appeared surprised at his having, 
contrary to their expectations, acquitted himself so 
well ; everybody highly praised him, which elated 
him so much that he scratched his head three or four 


times ; and fixing his fiery eyes on the ground, re- 
peated without hesitation, the same epigram in Greek 
verse, calling out, "There ye have it in Greek." 
Every one was astonished, which set him a-laughing 
and jeering for a quarter of an hour. 

The Greek he repeated so rapidly, that no one could 
write from his recitation. John Frederick Gymnick, 
professor of the Greek language at Duisburgh, who 
was one of the auditors, said that he esteemed the 
Greek version as superior to the Latin. Beronicius 
was afterwards examined in various ways, and gave 
such proofs of his wonderful learning, as amazed all 
the audience. 

This singular genius spoke several languages so 
perfectly, that each might have passed for his mother 
tongue ; especially Italian, French, and English. But 
Greek was his favorite, and he used it as correctly 
and as fluently as if he had always spoken it. He 
knew by heart the whole of Horace and Virgil, the 
greatest part of Cicero, and both the Plinys; and 
would immediately, if a line were mentioned, repeat 
the whole passage, and tell the exact work, volume, 
chapter, and verse, of all these, and many more, espe- 
cially poets. The works of Juvenal were so inter- 
woven with his brain, that he retained every word- 

Of the Greek poets, he had Homer strongly im- 
printed on his memory, together w^ith some of the 
comedies of Aristophanes ; he could directly turn to 
any line required, and repeat the whole contiguous 
passage. His Latin was full of words selected from 
the most celebrated writers. 

The reader will probably be desirous of knowing 


to what country Beronicius belonged; but this is a 
secret he never would disclose. When he was asked 
what was his native land, he always answered, " that 
the country of every one, was that in which he could 
live most comfortably." It was well known that he 
had wandered about many years in France, England, 
and the Netherlands, carrying his whole property 
with him. He was sometimes told that he deserved 
to be a professor in a college ;-but his reply Avas, 
that he could have no pleasure in such a worm-hke 

life. , J , . T 

Strange to say, this eccentric being gained his liv- 
ing chie^fly by sweeping chimneys, grinding knives 
and scissors, and other mean occupations. But his 
chief delight was in pursuing the profession of a jug- 
aler, mountebank, or merry-andrew, among the lowest 
rabble He never gave himself any concern about 
his food or raiment; for it was equal to him whether 
he was dressed like a nobleman or a beggar. His 
hours of relaxation from his studies were chiefly spent 
in paltry wine-houses, with the meanest company, 
where he would sometimes remain a whole week, or 
more, drinking without rest or intermission. 

His miserable death afforded reason to beheve that 
he perished whilst intoxicated, for he was found dead 
at Middleburgh, drowned and smothered m mud, 
which circumstance is alluded to in the epitaph which 
the before named poet, Buizero, wrote upon him, and 
which was as follows : — 

Here lies a wonderful genius, 

He lived and died like a beast ; 

He was a most uncommon satyr — 

tie Jived in wine, and died in Tvater. 



This is all that is known of Beronicius. The poet, 
Vander Goes, often witnessed the display of his tal- 
ents, and he says that he could at once render the 
?iewspapers into Greek and Latin verse. Professor 
John de Raay, who was living at the time of Beroni- 
> ius's death, w^hich occurred in 1676, saw and affirms 
•he same wonderful fact. 


Of this astonishing youth, we have no information 
except what is furnished by the following account, 
extracted from Mr. Evelyn's diary, of 1689, very 
shortly after the landing of William III. in England. 

" I dined," says Mr. Evelyn, " at the Admiralty, 
where a child of twelve years old was brought in, the 
son of Dr. Clench, of the most prodigious maturity of 
knowledge, for I cannot call it altogether memory, 
but something more extraordinary. Mr. Pepys and 
myself examined him, not in any method, but with 
promiscuous questions, which required judgment and 
discernment, to answer so readily and pertinently. 

" There was not anything in chronology, history, 
geography, the several systems of astronomy, courses 
'of the stars, longitude, latitude, doctrine of the spheres, 
courses and sources of rivers, creeks, harbors, eminent 
cities, boundaries of countries, not only in Europe, 
but in every part of the earth, which he did not read- 
ily resolve, and demonstrate his knowledge of, readily 
drawing with a pen anything he would describe. 

" He was able not only to repeat the most famous 
things which are left us in any of the Greek or Roman 
histories, monarchies, republics, wars, colonies, exploits 
by sea and land, but all the Sacred Scriptures of the 
Old and New Testaments ; the succession of all the 


monarchies, Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman ; 
with all the lower emperors, popes, heresiarchs, and 
councils ; what they w^e called about ; what they de- 
termined ; or in the controversy about Easter ; the 
tenets of the Sabellians, Arians, Nestorians ; and the 
difference between St. Cyprian and Stephen about 
re-baptization ; the schisms. 

" We leaped from that to other things totally differ- 
ent, — to Olympic years and synchronisms ; we asked 
him questions which could not be answered without 
considerable meditation and judgment ; nay, of some 
particulars of the civil wars ; of the digest and code. 
He gave a stupendous account of both natural and 
moral philosophy, and even of metaphysics. 

" Having thus exhausted ourselves, rather than this 
wonderful child, or angel rather, for he was as beau- 
tiful and lovely in countenance as in knowledge, we 
concluded with asking him, if, in all he had ever heard 
or read of, he had ever met with anything which was 
like the expedition of the Prince of Orange, with so 
small a force, as to obtain three kingdoms without any 
contest. After a little thought, he told us that he 
knew of nothing that resembled it, so much as the 
coming of Constantine the Great out of Great Britain, 
through France and Italy, so tedious a march, to meet 
Maxentius, whom he overthrew at Pons Melvius, with 
very little conflict, and at the very gates of Rome, 
which he entered, and was received with triumph, and 
obtained the empire not of three kingdoms only, but 
of the then known world. 

" He was perfect in the Latin authors, spoke French 
naturally, and gave us a description of France, Italy, 



Savoy and Spain, anciently and modernly divided ; 
as also of ancient Greece, Scythia, and the northern 
countries and tracts. 

" He answered our questions without any set or for- 
mal repetitions, as one who had learned things without 
book, but as if he minded other things, going about 
the room, and toying with a parrot, seeming to be full 
of play, of a lively, sprightly temper, always smiling, 
and exceedingly pleasant; withou* the \east levity, 
rudeness, or childishness." 


This extraordinary man was born in 1705, at El- 
meton, in Derbyshire. His father was a schoolmas- 
ter ; and yet, from some strange neglect, Jedediah was 
never taught either to read or write. So great, how- 
ever, were his natural talents for calculation, that he 
became remarkable for his knowledge of the relative 
proportions of numbers, their powers and progressive 
denominations. To these objects he applied all the 
powers of his mind, and his attention was so con- 
stantly rivetted upon them, that he was often totally 
abstracted from external objects. Even when he did 
notice them, it was only with respect to their num- 
bers. If any space of time happened to be mentioned 
before him, he would presently inform the company 


that it contained so many minutes ; and if any distance, 
he would assign the number of hair-breadths in it, 
even though no question were asked him. 

Being, on one occasion, required to muUiply 456 
by 878, he gave the product by mental arithmetic, as 
soon as a person in company had completed it in the 
common way. Being requested to work it audibly, 
that his method might be known, he first multiplied 
456 by 5, which produced 2,280 ; this he again mul- 
tiplied by 20, and found the product 45,600, which 
was the multiplicand, multiplied by 100. This pro- 
duct he again multiplied by 3, which gave 136,800, 
the product of the muUiplicand by 300. It remained, 
therefore, to multiply this by 78, which he effected 
by multiplying 2,280, or the product of the multipli- 
cand, multiplied by 5, by 15, as 5 times 15 is 75. 
This product being 34,200, he added to 136,800, 
which gave 171,000, being the amount of 375 times 
456. To complete his operation, therefore, he multi- 
plied 456 by 3, which produced 1,368, and this being 
added to 171,000, yielded 172,368, as the product of 
456 muUiplied by 378. 

From these particulars, it appears that Jedediah's 
method of calculation was entirely his own, and that 
he was so little acquainted with the common rules of 
arithmetic, as to multiply first by 5, and the product 
. by 20, to find the amount when multiplied by 100, 
which the addition of two ciphers to the multiplicand 
would have given at once. 

A person who had heard of these efforts of memo- 
ry, once meeting with him accidentally, proposed the 
following question, in order to try his calculating 


powers. If a field be 423 yards long, and 383 broad, 
what is the area ? After the figures were read to 
him distinctly, he gave the true product, 162,009 
yards, in the space of two minutes ; for the proposer 
observed by the watch, how long it took him. The 
same person asked how many acres the said field 
measured ; and in eleven minutes, he replied, 33 acres, 
1 rood, 35 perches, 20 yards and a quarter. He was 
then asked how many barley-corns would reach eight 
miles. In a minute and a half, he answered 1,520,- 
640. The next question was : supposing the dis- 
tance between London and York to be 204 miles, 
how many times will a coach-wheel turn round in 
that space, allowing the circumference of that wheel 
to be six yards. In thirteen minutes, he answered, 
59,840 times. 

On another occasion a person proposed to him this 
question : in a body, the three sides of which are 23,- 
145,789 yards, 5,642,732 yards, and 54,965 yards, 
how many cubic eighths of an inch ? In about five 
hours Jedediah had accurately solved this intricate 
problem, though in the midst of business, and sur- 
rounded by more than a hundred laborers. 

Next to figures, the only objects of Jedcdiah's cu- 
riosity were the king and royal family. So strong 
was his desire to see them, that in the beginning of 
the spring of 1754, he walked up to London for that 
purpose, but returned disappointed, as his majesty 
had removed to Kensington just as he arrived in 
town. He was, however, introduced to the Koyal 
Society, whom he called the Folk nf the Siety Court, 
The gentleman pmsent asked him several questions 


in arithmetic to try his abilities, and dismissed him 
with a handsome present. 

During his residence in the metropolis, he was 
taken to see the tragedy of King Eichard the Thii.-d, 
performed at Drury Lane, Garrick being one of the 
actors. It was expected that the novelty of every- 
thing in that place, together with the splendor of the 
surrounding objects, would have filled him with as- 
tonishment ; or that his passions would have been 
roused in some degree, by the action of the perform- 
ers, even though he might not fully comprehend the 
dialogue. This, certainly, was a rational idea ; but 
his thoughts were far otherwise employed. During 
the dances, his attention was engaged in reckoning 
the number of steps ; after a fine piece of music, he 
declared that the innumerable sounds produced by 
the instruments perplexed him beyond measure, but 
he counted the words uttered by Mr. Garrick, in the 
whole course of the entertainment; and declared 
that in this part of the business, he had perfectly suc- 

Heir to no fortune, and educated to no particular 
profession, Jedediah Buxton supported himself by the 
labor of his hands. His talents, had they been pro- 
perly cultivated, might have qualified him for acting 
a distinguished part on the theatre of life ; he, never- 
theless, pursued the " noiseless tenor of his way," 
content if he could satisfy the wants of nature, and 
procure a daily subsistence for himself and family. 
He was married and had several children. He died 
in the year 1775, aged seventy years. Though a 
man of wonderful powers of arithmetical calculation, 



and generally regarded as a prodigy in his way — it 
is still obvious that, after the practice of years, he was 
incapable of solving questions, which Zerah Colburn, 
at the age of six or seven years, answered in the space 
of a few seconds. 


William Gibson was born in the year 1720, at the 
village of Bohon, in Westmoreland, England. On 
the death of his father, he put himself to a farmer to 
learn his business. When he was about eighteen or 
nineteen, he rented a small farm of his own, at a 
place called HoUins, where he applied himself assid- 
uously to study. 

A short time previous to this, he had admired the 
operation of figures, but labored under every disad- 
vantage, for want of education. As he had not yet 
been taught to read, he got a few lessons in English, 
and was soon enabled to comprehend a plain author. 
He then purrhased a treatise on arithmetic ; and 
though he could not write, he soon became so expert 
a calculator, from mental operations only, that he 
could tell, without setting down a figure, the product 
of any two numbers multiplied together, although the 
multiplier and the multiplicand each of them con- 
sisted of nine figures. It was equally astonishing 
that he could answer, in the same manner, questions 
in division, in decimal fractions, or in the extraction 
of the square or cube roots, where such a multiplicity 


of figures is often required in the operation. Yet at 
this time he did not know that any merit was due to 
himself, conceiving that the capacity of other people 
was like his own. 

Finding himself still laboring under farther diffi- 
culties for want of a knowledge of writing, he taught 
himself to write a tolerable hand. As he had not 
heard of mathematics, he had no idea of anything, in 
regard to numbers, beyond what he had learned. He 
thought himself a master of figures, and challenged 
all his companions and the members of a society he 
attended, to a trial. Something, however, was pro- 
posed to him concerning Euclid. As he did not un- 
derstand the meaning of the word, he was silent ; but 
afterwards found it meant a book, containing the ele- 
ments of geometry ; this he purchased, and applied 
himself very diligently to the study of it, and against 
the next meeting he was prepared with an answer in 
this new science. 

He now found himself launching out into a field, 
of which before he had no conception. He continued 
his geometrical studies ; and as the demonstration of 
the different propositions in Euclid depend entirely 
upon a recollection of some of those preceding, his 
memory was of the utmost service to him. Besides, 
it was a study exactly adapted to his mind ; and while 
he was attending to the business of his farm, and hum- 
ming over some tune or other, his attention was often 
engaged with some of his geometrical propositions. 
A few figures with a piece of chalk, upon the knee of 
his breeches, or any other convenient spot, were all 


he needed to clear up the most difficult parts of the 

He now began to be struck with the works of na- 
ture, and paid particular attention to the theory of the 
earth, the moon,, and the rest of the planets belong- 
ing to this system, of which the sun is the centre ; 
and considering the distance and magnitude of the 
different bodies belonging to it, and the distanc,e of 
the fixed stars, he soon conceived each of them to be 
the centre of a different system. He well considered 
the law of gravity, and that of the centripetal and 
centrifugal forces, and the cause of the ebbing and 
flowing of the tides; also the projection of the sphere — 
stereographic, orthographic, and gnomical ; also trig- 
onometry and astronomy. By this time he was pos- 
sessed of a small library. 

He next turned his thoughts to algebra, and took 
up Emerson's treatise on that subject, and went 
through it with great success. He also grounded 
himself in the art of navigation and the principles of 
mechanics ; likewise the doctrine of motion, of falling 
bodies, and the elements of optics, &c., as a prelimi- 
nary to fluxions, which had but lately been discov- 
ered by Sir Isaac Newton ; as the boundary of the 
mathematics, he went through conic sections, &c. 
Though he experienced some difliculty at his first 
entrance, yet he did not rest till he made himself 
master of both a fluxion and a flowing quantity. As 
he had paid a similar attention to the intermediate 
parts, he soon became so conversant with every branch 
of the mathematics, that no question was ever pro- 
posed to him which he could not answer. 


He used to take pleasure in solving the arithmetical 
questions then common in the magazines, but his 
answers were seldom inserted, except by or in the 
name of some other person, for he had no ambition 
to make his abilities known. He frequently had 
questions from his pupils and other gentlemen in 
London; from the universities of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, and different parts of the country, as well as 
from the university of Gottingen in Germany. These, 
however difficult, he never failed to answer ; and 
from the minute inquiry he made into natural philos- 
ophy, there was scarcely a phenomenon in nature, 
that ever came to his knowledge or observation, but 
he could, in some measure at least, reasonably ac- 
count for it. 

He went by the name of Willy-o'-th'-Hollins, for 
many years after he left his residence in that place. 
The latter portion of his life was spent in the neigh- 
borhood of Cartmell, where he was best known by 
the name of Willy Gibson, still continuing his former 
occupation. For the last forty years he kept a school 
of about eight or ten gentlemen, Avho boarded and 
lodged at his own farm-house ; and having a happy 
turn in explaining his ideas, he formed a great num- 
ber of very able mathematicians, as "well as expert ac- 
countants. This self-taught philosopher and wonder- 
ful man, died on the 4th of October, 1792, at Blaith, 
near Cartmell, in consequence of a fall, leaving be- 
hind him a widow and ten children. 


Of the life of this extraordinary man we have little 
information. He was probably born in Argyleshire, 
Scotland, at the close of the seventeenth century. His 
father was gardener to the Duke of Argyle, and the son 
assisted him. The duke was walking one day in his 
garden, when he observed a Latin copy of Newton's 
Principia, lying on the grass, and supposing it had 
been brought from his own library, called some one 
to carry it back to its place. Upon this, young Stone, 
who was in his eighteenth year, claimed the book as 
his own. " Yours ! " replied the duke ; " do you un- 
derstand geometry, Latin, and Newton ?" . "I know 
a little of them," said the young man. 

The duke was surprised, and having a taste for the 
sciences, he entered into conversation with the young 
mathematician. He proposed several inquiries, and 
was astonished at the force, the accuracy and the 
clearness of his answers. " But how," said the duke, 
" came you by the knowledge of all these things ? " 
Stone replied, " A servant taught me to read ten years 
since. Does one need to know anything more than 
the twenty-six letters, in order to learn everything 
else that one wishes ? " 

STONE. 77 

The duke's curiosity was now greatly increased, 
and he sat down upon a bank and requested a detail 
of the whole process by which he had acquired such 
knowledge. " I first learned to read," said Stone ; 
" afterwards, when the masons were at work at your 
house, I approached them one day, and observed that 
the architect used a rule and compass, and that he 
made calculations. I inquired what might be the 
meaning and use of these things ; and I was informed 
that there was a science called arithmetic. I pur- 
chased a book of arithmetic, and studied it. I was 
told that there was another science, called geometry. 
I bought the necessary books, and learned geometry. 

" By reading, I found there were good books on 
these two sciences in Latin ; I therefore bought a 
dictionary and learned Latin. I understood, also, 
that there were good books of the same kind in 
French ; I bought a dictionary and learned French ; 
and this, my lord, is what I have done. It seems to 
me that we may learn everything when we know the 
twenty-six letters of the alphabet." 

Under the duke's patronage, Stone rose to be a very 
considerable mathematician, and was elected a mem- 
ber of the Royal Society of London, in 1725. He 
seems to have lost the favor of the Duke of Argyle, 
for, in the latter part of his life, he gave lessons in 
mathematics, and at last died in poverty. 


John Evelyn, a very learned English writer, was 
born in 1620, and died in 1706. He published sev- 
eral works, all of which are valuable. His treatises 
upon Natural History are greatly valued. He kept 
a diary, which has been published, and which con- 
tains much that is interesting. Of one of his chil- 
dren, who died early, he gives us the following 
account : 

" After six fits of ague, died, in the year 1658, my 
son Richard, five years and three days old, but, at 
that tender age, a prodigy of wit and understanding ; 
for beauty of body, a very angel ; for endowment of 
mind, of incredible and rare hopes. To give only a 
little taste of some of them, and thereby glory to God : 

" At two years and a half old, he could perfectly 
read any of the English, Latin, French, or Gothic 
letters, pronouncing the three first languages exactly. 
He had, before the fifth year, not only skill to read 
most written hands, but to decline all the nouns, con- 
jugate the verbs regular and most of the irregular; 
learned Pericles through ; got by heart almost the 
entire vocabulary of Latin and French primitives and 


words, could make congruous syntax, turn English 
into Latin, and vice versa, construe and prove what 
he read, and did the government and use of relative 
verbs, substantives, ellipses, and many figures and 
tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comeni- 
us's Janua ; began himself to write legibly, and had 
a strong passion for Greek. 

" The number of verses he could recite was enor- 
mous ; and when seeing a Plautus in one's hand, he 
asked what book it was, and being told it was comedy 
and too difficult for him, he wept for sorrow. Strange 
was his apt and ingenious application of fables and 
morals, for he had read ^sop. He had a wonderful 
disposition to mathematics, having by heart divers 
propositions of Euclid, that were read to him in play, 
and he would make lines and demonstrate them. 

" As to his piety, astonishing w^ere his applications 
of Scripture upon occasion, and his sense of God : 
he had learned all his catechism early, and understood 
the historical part of the Bible and Testament to a 
wonder — how Christ came to mankind ; and how, com- 
prehending these necessaries himself, his godfathers 
were discharged of their promise. These *and like 
illuminations, far exceeding his age and experience, 
considering the prettiness of his address and behavior 
cannot but leave impressions in me at the memory of 
him. When one told him how many days a Quaker 
had fasted, he replied, that was no wonder, for Christ 
had said ' man should not live by bread alone, but by 
the word of God.' 

" He would, of himself, select the most pathetic 
Psalm.s, and chapters out of Job, to read to his maid 


during his sickness, telling her, when she pitied him, 
that all God's children must suffer affliction. He 
declaimed against the vanities of the world, before he 
had seen any. Often he would desire those who 
came to see him, to pray by him, and a year before he 
fell sick, to kneel and pray with him, alone in some 
corner. How thankfully would he receive admoni- 
tion ! how soon be reconciled ! how indifferent, yet 
continually cheerful! He would give grave advice to 
his brother John, bear with his impertinences, and say 
he was but a child. 

" If he heard of, or saw any new thing, he was 
unquiet till he was told how it was made ; he brought 
to us all such difficulties as he found in books, to be 
expounded. He had learned by heart divers sen- 
tences in Greek and Latin, which on occasions he 
would produce even to wonder. He was all life, all 
Drettiness, far from morose, sullen, or childish in any- 
thing he said or did. The last time he had been at 
church, which was at Greenwich, I asked him, ac- 
cording to custom, what he remembered of the ser- 
mon. ' Two good things, father,' said he, ' honum 
grati(E, and bonum gloricB;'' the excellence of grace, 
and the excellence of glory, — with a just account of 
what the preacher said. 

" The day before he died, he called to me, and, in 
a more serious manner than usual, told me, that for 
all I loved him so dearly, I should give my house, 
land, and all my fine things to his brother Jack, — he 
should have none of them ; and next morning, when 
he found himself ill, and I persuaded him to keep his 
hands in bed, he demanded whether he might pray 


to God with his hands unjoined; and a little after, 
whilst in great agony, whether he should not offend 
God by using his holy name so often by calling for 

" What shall I say of his frequent pathctical ejac- 
ulations uttered of himself: ' Sweet Jesus, save me, 
deliver me, pardon my sins, let thine angels receive 
me ! ' So early knowledge, so much piety and per- 
fection ! But thus God, having dressed up a saint fit 
for himself, would no longer permit him with us, un- 
worthy of the future fruits of this incomparable, 
hopeful blossom. Such a child I never saw ! for such 
a child I bless God, in whose bosom he is ! May I 
and mine become as this little child, which now fol- 
lows the child Jesus, that lamb of God, in a white 
robe, whithersoever he goes ! Even so. Lord Jesus, 
let thy will be done. Thou gavest him to us, thou 
hast taken him from us ; blessed be the name of the 
Lord ! That I had anything acceptable to thee w^as 
from thy grace alone, since from me he had nothing 
but sin; but that thou hast pardoned, blessed be my 
God forever ! Amen." 


This great painter was born at Antwerp, in 1460, 
and followed the trade of a blacksmith and farrier, 
till he approached manhood. His health at that time 
was feeble, and rendered him unfit for so laborious a 
pursuit; he therefore undertook to execute lighter 
work. He constructed an iron railing around a well 
near the great church of Antwerp, which w^as greatly 
admired for its delicacy and the devices with which 
it was ornamented. He also executed an iron balus- 
trade for the college of Louvain, which displayed 
extraordinary taste and skill.. 

His father had died, when he was young, leaving 
him and his mother entirely destitute. Notwithstand- 
ing his feeble constitution, he was obliged to support 
both himself and her. While necessity thus urged 
him, his taste guided his efforts tovvard works of art. 
At Louvain there was an annual piocession of lepers, 
who were accustomed to distribute little images of 
saints upon that occasion. Matsys devoted himself 
to the making of these, in which he was very suc- 




liii I 



He had now reached the age of twenty, when it 
appears that he fell in love with the daughter of a 
painter, of some cleverness, in Antwerp. His affec- 
tion was returned, but when he applied to the father 
to obtain his consent to their union, he was answered 
by a flat refusal, and the declaration, that no man but 
a painter, as good as himself, should wed his daugh- 
ter. Matsys endeavored in vain to overcome this 
resolution, and finally, despairing of other means to 
accomplish the object which now engrossed his whole 
soul, he determined to become a painter. The diffi- 
culties in his way vanished before that confidence 
which genius inspires, and taking advantage of his 
leisure hours, he began to instruct himself secretly in 
the art of painting. His progress was rapid, and the 
time of his triumph speedily approached. 

He was one day on a visit to his mistress, where 
he found a picture on the easel of her father, and 
nearly finished. The old man was absent, and Quen- 
tin, seizing the pencil, painted a bee upon a flower in 
the foreground of the painting, and departed. The 
artist soon returned, and in sitting down to his pic- 
ture, immediately discovered the insect, which had so 
strangely intruded itself upon his canvass. It was 
so life-like as to make it seem a real insect, that had 
been deceived by the mimic flower, and had just 
alighted upon it. The artist was in raptures, for it 
appears that he had a heart to appreciate excellence, 
even if it was not his own. He inquired of his 
daughter who had painted the bee. Though the 
details of the interview which followed are not 


handed down to us, we may be permitted to fill up 
the scene. 

Father. Tell me, child, who painted the insect ? 

Daughter. Who painted the insect ? Really, how 
should I know ? 

F. You ought to know, — you must know. It was 
not one of my pupils. It is beyond them all. 

D. Is it as good as you could have done yourself, 
father ? 

F. Yes ; I never painted anything better in my 
life. It is like nature's own work, it is so light, so 
true ; on my soul, I was deceived at first, and was 
about to brush the insect away with my handker- 

D. And so, father, you think it is as well as you 
could have done yourself? 

F. Yes. 

jD. Well, I will send for Quentin Matsys ; per- 
haps he can tell you who did it. 

J^. Aye, girl, is that it ? Did Quentin do it ? Then 
he is a clever fellow, and shall marry you. 

Whether such a dialogue as this actually took 
place, we cannot say ; but it appears that Quentin's 
acknowledged excellence as an artist soon won the 
painter's consent, and he married the daughter. 
From this time he devoted his life to the art which 
love alone had at first induced him to pursue. He 
soon rose to the highest rank in his profession, and 
has left behind him an enduring fame. Though he 
was destitute of early education, and never had the 
advantage of studying the great masters of the Italian 
school, he rivalled, in some respects, even their best 



productions. His designs were correct and true to 
nature, and his coloring was forcible. His pictures 
are now scarce and command great prices. One of 
them, called the Two Misers, is in the Royal Gallery 
of Windsor, England, and is greatly admired. Mat- 
sys died at Antwerp, in 1529. 


Benjamin West was born at Springfield, Pennsyl- 
vania, October 10, 173S. His father was a merchant, 
and Benjamin was the tenth child. The first six 
years of his life passed away in calm uniformity, 
leaving only the placid remembrance of enjoyment. 
In the month of June, 1745, one of his sisters who 
was married, came with her infant daughter to spend 
a few days at her father's. When the child was 
asleep in her cradle, Mrs. West invited her daughter 
to gather flowers in the garden, and committed the 
infant to the care of Benjamin, during their absence ; 
giving him a fan to drive away the flies from molest- 
ing his little charge. 

After some time, the child happened to smile in its 
sleep, and its beauty attracted the boy's attention. 
He looked at it with a pleasure, which he never before 
experienced ; and observing some paper on a table, 
together with pens, and red and black ink, he seized 
them with agitation, and endeavored to delineate a 
portrait, although at this period, he was only in the 
seventh year of his age. 

Hearing the approach of his mother and sister, he 

WEST. ay 

endeavored to conceal what he had been doing ; but 
the old lad}?- observing his confusion, inquired what 
he was about, and requested him to show her the 
paper. He obeyed, entreating her not to be angry. 
Mrs. West, after looking at the drawing with evident 
pleasure, said to her daughter, " I declare, he has 
made a likeness of little Sally;" she kissed him with 
much fondness and satisfaction. This encouraged 
him to say that if it would give her any pleasure, he 
would make pictures of the flowers which she held 
in her hand ; for the instinct of his genius was now 
awakened, and he felt that he could imitate the forms 
of those things which pleased his sight. 

Some time after this, Benjamin having heard that 
pencils for painting were made in Europe of camel's 
hair, determined to manufacture a substitute, for his 
own use : accordingly, seizing upon a black cat, kept 
in the family, he extracted the requisite hairs from her 
tail for his first brush, and afterwards pillaged it again 
for others. 

Such was the commencement of a series of efforts 
which raised West to be a favorite painter in Eng- 
land, and, at last, president of the Royal Academy of 
London. His parents were Quakers, but they en- 
couraged his efforts. He, however, had no advan- 
tages, and for some time he was obliged to pursue 
his labors with such pencils as he made himself, and 
with red and yellow colors, which he learned to pre- 
pare from some Indians who roamed about the town 
of Springfield : to these, his mother added a little 

He had a cousin by the name of Pennington, who 

90 WEST. 

was a merchant, and having seen some of his sketches, 
sent him a box of paints and pencils, with canvass 
prepared, and six engravings. The possession of this 
treasure almost prevented West's sleeping. He now 
went into a garret as soon as it was light, and began 
his work. He was so wrapt up in his task, as to stay 
from school. This he continued till his master called 
to inquire what had become of him. A search was 
consequently made, and he was found at his easel, in 
the garret. His mother's anger soon subsided, when 
she saw his picture, now nearly finished. He had 
not servilely copied one of the engravings, as might 
have been expected, but had formed a new picture by 
combining the parts of several of them. His mother 
kissed the boy with rapture, and procured the pardon 
of his father and teacher. Mr. Gait, who wrote 
West's life, says, that, sixty-seven years after, he had 
the pleasure of seeing this very piece, hanging by the 
side of the sublime picture of Christ Rejected. 

Young West's fame Avas soon spread abroad, and 
he was shortly crowded with applications for portraits, 
of which he painted a considerable number. He was 
now of an age to require a decision of his parents in 
respect to the profession he was to follow, in life. 
They deliberated long and anxiously upon this subject, 
and at last concluded to refer the matter to the society 
of Quakers to which they belonged. These decided, 
that, although they did not acknowledge the utility of 
painting to mankind, yet they would allow the youth 
to follow a path for which he had so evident a 

At the age of eighteen, he established himself in 

WEST. 91 

Philadelphia, as a portrait painter, and afterwards 
spent some time at New York, in the same capacity. 
In both places, his success, was considerable. In 
1760, aided by friends, he proceeded to Italy, to study 
his art ; in 1763, he went to London, where he soon 
became established for life. The king, George III., 
was his steadfast friend, and he became painter to his 
majesty. He was offered a salary of seven hundred 
pounds a year, by the Marquis of Rockingham, to 
embellish his mansion at Yorkshire wdth historical 
paintings, but this he declined. 

On the death of Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was 
elected president of the Royal Academy, and took 
his place in March, 1792. In his sixty-fifth year, he 
painted his great picture of Christ healing the sick, 
to aid the Quakers of Philadelphia in the erection of 
a hospital for that city. It was so much admired 
that he was offered no less than fifteen thousand dol- 
lars for this performance. He accepted the offer, as 
he was not rich, upon condition that he should be 
allowed to make a copy for the Friends of Philadel- 
phia, for whom he had intended it. This great 
picture, of which we give an engraving, was long 
exhibited at Philadelphia, and the profits essentially 
aided the benevolent object which suggested the pic- 

West continued to pursue his profession, and paint- 
ed several picttires of great size, under the idea that 
his talent was best suited to such performances. In 
1817, his wife, with whom he had long lived in un- 
interrupted happiness, died, and he followed her in 
1820. If his standing, as an artist, is not of the 


highest rank, it is still respectable, and his history 
affords a striking instance of a natural fitness and 
predilection for a particular pursuit. If we consider 
the total want of encouragement to painting, in a 
Quaker family, in a country town in Pennsylvania, 
more than a century ago, and advert to the sponta- 
neous display of his taste and its persevering culti- 
vation, we shall see that nature seems to have given 
him an irresistible impulse in the direction of the art 
to which he devoted his life. 

West was tall, firmly built, and of a fair complex- 
ion. He always preserved something of the sedate, 
even and sober manners of the sect to which his 
parents belonged ; in disposition, he was mild, liberal 
and generous. He seriously impaired his fortune by 
the aid he rendered to indigent young artists. His 
works were very numerous, and the exhibition and sale 
of those in his hands, at the time of his death, yielded 
a handsome sum to his family. Though his early 
education was neglected, he supplied the defect by 
study and observation, and his writings connected 
with the arts are very creditable to him as a man, a 
philosopher and an artist. 


PiETRo Berretini was born 1596, at Cortona, 
in Italy. He is called Pietro Da Cortona, from the 
place of his birth. Even when a child, he evinced 
uncommon genius for painting ; but he appeared 
likely to remain in obscurity and ignorance, as the 
extreme poverty of his situation precluded him from 
the usual means of improving natural talent. He 
struggled, however, with his difficulties, and ulti- 
mately overcame every obstacle which opposed him. 

When twelve years old, he went, alone and on foot, 
to Florence, the seat of the fine arts, possessed of no 
money, and, in fact, completely without resources of 
any kind. Notwithstanding this gloomy aspect of 
affairs, he did not lose his courage, but still persevered 
in a resolution he had thus early formed, Iv become 
" an eminent painter." Pietro knew of no person to 
whom he could apply for assistance in Florence, ex- 
cepting a poor boy from Cortona, who was then a 
scullion in the kitchen of Cardinal Sachetti. Pietro 
sought him out ; his little countryman welcomed him 
very kindly, shared with him his humble meal, offer- 
ed him the half of his little bed as a lodging, and 


promised to supply him with food from the spare 
meat of his kitchen. 

Thus provided with the necessaries of life, Pietro 
applied himself with indefatigable diligence to the 
art to which he had devoted himself, and soon made 
such progress in it, as, in his own opinion, amply- 
recompensed him for all the toil, privation and diffi- 
culties he had undergone. It was interesting to 
observe this poor, destitute child, without a friend to 
guide his conduct or direct his studies, devoting him- 
self with such unceasing assiduity to his own im- 
provement. His little friend, the scullion, did not 
relax in kindness and generosity towards him ; for 
all that he possessed he shared with Pietro, and the 
latter, in return, brought him all the drawings he 
made, and with these he adorned the walls of the 
little garret in which they slept. 

Pietro was in the habit of wandering to a distance 
from Florence, to take views of the beautiful scenery 
in the environs of that city. When night overtook 
him unawares, which was often the case, he very 
contentedly slept under the shelter of a tree, and 
arose as soon as daylight dawned to renew his em- 
ployment. During his absence, on one of these 
excursions, some of his pictures accidentally fell into 
fhe hands of Cardinal Sachetti, who, struck with the 
merit that distinguished them, inquired by what artist 
they were executed. He was not a little astonished 
to hear that they were the performances of a poor 
child, who had, for more than two years, been sup- 
ported by the bounty of one of his kitchen boys. 
The cardinal desired to see Pietro: and when the 


young artist was brought before him, he received him 
in a kind manner, assigned him a pension and placed 
him as a scholar under one of the best painters of 

Pietro afterwards became a very eminent painter, 
and made the most grateful returns to his friend, the 
scullion, for the kindness he had shown him in pov- 
erty and wretchedness. He spent the latter part of 
his life at Rome, where he enjoyed the patronage of 
successive pontiffs, and was made a knight by Pope 
Alexander III. He was an architect as well as a 
painter, and designed the church of Saint Martin, at 
Rome, where he was buried, and to which he be- 
queathed a hundred thousand crowns. He died 
1669, full of wealth and honors. His works display 
admirable talents, and his history affords a striking 
example of native genius, overcoming all obstacles, 
and hewing its way to success in that pursuit for 
which nature had seemed to create it. 


This youthful bard, whose premature death was so 
sincerely regretted by every admirer of genius, was 
the son of a butcher of Nottingham, England, and 
born March 21, 1788. He manifested an ardent love 
of reading in his infancy ; this was, indeed, a passion 
to which everything else gave way. " I could fancy," 
says his eldest sister, " that I see him in his little 
chair, with a large book upon his knee, and my mother 
calling, ' Henry, my love, come to dinner,' which was 
repeated so often without being regarded, that she 
was obliged to change the tone of her voice, before 
she could rouse him." 

When he was seven years old, he would creep 
unperceived into the kitchen, to teach the servant to 
read and write ; and he continued this for some time 
before it was discovered that he had been thus laud- 
ably employed. He wrote a tale of a Swiss emigrant, 
which was probably his first composition, and gave it 
to this servant, being ashamed to show it to his 
mother. " The consciousness of genius," says his 
biographer, Mr. Southey, " is always, at first, accom- 
panied by this diffidence; it is a sacred, solitary feel- 


ing. No forward child, however extraordinary the 
promise of his childhood, ever produced anything 
truly great." 

When Henry was about eleven years old, he one 
day wrote a separate theme for every boy in his class, 
which consisted of about twelve or fourteen. The 
master said he had never known them write so well 
upon any subject before, and could not refrain from 
expressing his astonishment at the excellence of 
Henry's own composition. 

At the age of thirteen, he wrote a poem, " On 
being confined to school one pleasant morning in 
spring," from which the following is an extract : 

" How gladly would my soul forego 
All that arithmeticians know, 
Or stiff grammarians quaintly teach, 
Or all that industry can reach, 
To taste each morn of all the joys 
That with the laughing sun arise; 
And unconstrained to rove along 
The bushy brakes and glens among ; 
And woo the muse's gentle power 
In unfrequented rural bower; 
But ah ! such heaven-approaching joys 
Will never greet my longing eyes ; 
Still will they cheat in vision fine, 
Yet never but in fancy shine." 

The parents of Henry were anxious to put him to 
some trade, and when he was nearly fourteen, he was 
placed at a stocking loom, with the view, at some 
future period, of getting a situation in a hosier's ware- 
house ; but the youth did not conceive that nature 
had intended to doom him to spend seven years of 



his life in folding up stockings, and he remonstrated 
with his friends against the employment. His tem- 
per and tone of mind at this period, are displayed in 
the following extracts from his poems : 

" Men may rave, 

And blame and censure me, that I do n't tie 
My ev'ry thought down to the desk, and spend 
The morning of my life in adding figures 
"With accurate monotony ; that so 
The good things of this world may be my lot, 
And I might taste the blessedness of wealth. 
But oh ! I was not made for money-getting." 

For as still 

I tried to cast, with school dexterity, 
The interesting sums, my vagrant thoughts 
Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt, 
Which fond remembrance cherished ; and the pen 
Dropt from my senseless fingers, as I pictur'd 
In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent 
I erewhile wander'd with my early friends 
In social intercourse." 

" Yet still, oh contemplation ! I do love 

T' indulge thy solemn musings ; still the same 

With thee alone I know how to melt and weep, 

In thee alone delighting. Why along 

The dusty track of commerce should I toil, 

When with an easy competence content, 

I can alone be happy, where with thee 

I may-enjoy the loveliness of nature, 

And loose the wings of Fancy ? Thus alone 

Can I partake of happiness on earth ; 

And to be happy here is man's chief end. 

For, to be happv. he must needs be sood." 

WHITE. 99 

Young White was soon removed from the loom tc 
the office of a solicitor, which afforded a less obnox-^ 
ious employment. He became a member of a literary 
society in Nottingham, and delivered an extempore 
lecture on genius, in which he displayed so much 
talent, that he received the unanimous thanks of the 
society, and they elected him their professor of liter- 

At the age of fifteen, he gained a silver medal for 
a translation from Horace ; and the following year, a 
pair of globes, for an imaginary tour from London to 
Edinburgh. He determined upon trying for this 
prize one evening when at tea with his family, and 
at supper, he read them his performance. In his 
seventeenth year, he published a small volume of 
poems which possessed considerable merit. 

Soon after, he was sent to Cambridge, and entered 
Saint John's College, where he made the most rapid 
progress. But the intensity of his studies ruined his 
constitution, and he fell a victim to his ardent thirst 
for knowledge. He died October 19, 1806, leaving 
behind him several poems and letters, which gave 
earnest of the high rank he would have attained in 
the republic of letters, had his life been spared. His 
productions were published, with an interesting 
memoir, by Mr. Southey. 


John Chrysostomus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 
was born at Salzburg, in 1756. His father was an 
eminent musician, and the early proficiency of his son 
in music was almost incredible. He began the piano 
at three years of age ; and from this period lost all 
pleasure in his other amusements. His taste was so 
scientific that he would spend his time in looking for 
thirds, and felt charmed with their harmony. At five 
years old, he began to compose little pieces, of such 
ingenuity that his father wrote them down. 

He was a creature of universal sensibility, a natu- 
ral enthusiast — from his infancy fond, melancholy and 
tearful. When scarcely able to walk, his first ques- 
tion to his friends, who took him on their knee, was, 
whether they loved him ; and a negative always made 
him weep. His mind was all alive ; and whatever 
touched it, made it palpitate throughout. When he 
was taught the rudiments of arithmetic, the walls and 
tables of his bed-chamber were found covered with 
figures. But the piano was the grand object of his 

At six years old, this singular child commenced, 
with his father, and sister two years older than him- 
self, one of those musical tours common in Germany ; 

MOZART. 101 

and performed at Munich before the Elector, to the 
great admiration of the most musical court on the con- 
tinent. His ear now signalized itself, by detecting 
the most minute irregularities in the orchestra. But 
its refinement was almost a disease ; a discord tortured 
him ; he conceived a horror of the trumpet, except 
as a single accompaniment, and si:frered from it so 
keenly, that his father, to correct what he regarded as 
the effect of ignorant terror, one day desired a trum- 
pet to be blown in his apartment. The child entreated 
him not to make the experiment ; but the trumpet 
sounded. Young Mozart suddenly turned pale, fell 
on the floor, and was on the point of going into convul- 
sions, when the trumpeter was sent out of the room. 

When only seven years old, he taught himself the 
violin ; and thus, by the united effort of genius and 
industry, mastered the most difhcult of all instruments. 
From Munich, he went to Vienna, Paris, and London. 
His reception in the British metropolis was such as 
the curious give to novelty, the scientific to intelli- 
gence, and the great to what administers to stately 
pleasure. He was flattered, honored, and rewarded 
Handel had then made the organ a favorite, and Mo- 
zart took the way of popularity. His execution, which 
on the piano had astonished the English musicians, 
was equally wonderful on the organ, and he overcame 
all rivalry. On his departure from England, he gave 
a farewell concert, of which all the symphonies were 
composed by himself. This was the career of a child 
nine years old. 

With the strengthening of his frame, the acuteness 
of his ear became less painful; the trumpet had lost 

102 MOZART. 

its terror for him at ten years old ; and before he had 
completed that period, he distinguished the church 
of the Orphans, at Vienna, by the composition of a 
mass and a trumpet duet, and acted as director of 
the concert. 

Mozart had travelled the chief kingdoms of Europe, 
and seen all that could be shown to him there, of 
wealth and grandeur. He had yet to see the empire 
of musical genius. Italy was an untried land, and he 
went at once to its capital. He was present at the 
performance of Handel's admirable chant, the Mise- 
rere, which seems then to have been performed with 
an effect unequalled since. The singers had been 
forbidden to give a copy of this composition. Mozart 
bore it away in his memory, and wrote it down. This 
is still quoted among musicians, as almost a miracle 
of remembrance ; but it may be more truly quoted as 
an evidence of the power which diligence and deter- 
mination give to the mind. Mozart was not remark- 
able for memory ; what he did, others may do ; but 
the same triumph is to be purchased only by the same 
exertion. The impression of this day lasted during 
Mozart's life ; his style was changed ; he at once 
adopted a solemn reverence for Handel, whom he 
called " The Thunderbolt," and softened the fury of 
his inspiration, by the taste of Boccherini. He now 
made a grand advance in his profession, and composed 
an opera, " Mithridates," which was played twenty 
nights at Milan. 

Mozart's reputation was soon established, and he 
was liberally patronised by the Austrian court. The 
following anecdote shows the goodness of his heart, 


and the estimation in which he was held. One day, 
as he was walking in the suburbs of Vienna, he was 
accosted by a mendicant, of a very prepossessing 
appearance and manner, who told his tale of wo with 
such effect, as to interest the musician strongly in his 
favor ; but the state of his purse not corresponding 
with the impulse of his humanity, he desired the appli- 
cant to follow him to a coffee-house. Here Mozart, 
drawing paper from his pocket, in a few minutes com- 
posed a minuet, which, with a letter, he gave to the 
distressed man, desiring him to take it to his publisher. 
A composition from Mozart was a bill payable at 
sight; and to his great surprise, the now happy beggar 
was immediately presented with five double ducats. 

The time which Mozart most willingly employed 
in compositions, was the morning, from six or seven 
o'clock till about the hour of ten. After this, 
he usually did no more for the rest of the day, unless 
he had to finish some piece that was wanted. He 
however always worked irregularly. When an idea 
struck him, he was not to be drawn from it, even if 
he were in the midst of his. friends. He sometimes 
passed whole nights with his pen in his hand. At 
other times, he had such a disinclination to work, that 
he could not complete a piece till the moment of its 
performance. It once happened, that he put off some 
music which he had engaged to furnish for a court 
concert, so long, that he had not time to write out the 
part he was to perform himself. The Emperor Jo- 
seph, who was peeping everywhere, happening to cast 
his eyes on the sheet which Mozart seemed to be 
playing from, was surprised to see nothing but empty 

104 MOZART. 

lines, and said to him, "AVhere 's your part ? " " Here," 
said Mozart, putting his hand to his forehead. 

The Don Giovanni of this eminent composer, 
which is one of the most popular compositions ever 
produced, was composed for the theatre at Prague, 
and first performed in that city in 1787. This refined 
and intellectual music was not at that time understood 
in Germany ; a circumstance which Mozart seems to 
have anticipated, for, previous to its first representa- 
tion, he remarked to a friend, " This opera is not cal- 
culated for the people of Vienna ; it will be more justly 
appreciated at Prague ; but in reality I have written 
it principally to please myself and my friends." Am- 
ple justice has however at length been rendered to this 
great production ; it is heard with enthusiasm in nearly 
all the principal cities of that quarter of the globe 
where music is cultivated as a science — from the frozen 
regions of Russia, to the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Its 
praise is not limited by the common attributes of good 
musical composition ; it is placed in the higher rank 
of fine poetry ; for not only are to be found in it ex- 
quisite melodies and profound harmonies, but the 
playful, the tender, the pathetic, the mysterious, the 
sublime, and the terrible, are to be distinctly traced 
in its various parts. 

The overture to this opera is generally esteemed 
Mozart's best effort ; yet it was only composed the 
night previous lo the first representation, after the 
general rehearsal had taken place. About eleven 
o'clock in the evening, when retired to his apartment, 
he desired his wife to make him some punch, and to 
stay with him, in order to keep him awake. She 

MOZART. 105 

accordingly began to tell him fairy tales, and odd sto- 
ries, which made him laugh till the tears came. The 
punch, however, made him so drowsy, that he could 
go on only while his wife was talking, and dropped 
asleep as soon as she ceased. The efforts which he 
made to keep himself awake, the continual alternation 
of sleep and watching, so fatigued him, that his wife 
persuaded him to take some rest, promising to awake 
him in an hour's time. He slept so profoundly that 
she suffered him to repose for two hours. At five 
o'clock in the morning, she awoke him. He had 
appointed the music copiers to come at seven, and by 
the time they arrived, the overture was finished. They 
had scarcely time to write out the copy necessary for 
the orchestra, and the musicians were obliged to play 
it without a rehearsal. Some persons pretend, that 
they can discover in this overture the passages where 
Mozart dropped asleep and those where he suddenly 
awoke again. 

This great composer was so absorbed in music, that 
he was a child in every other respect. He was ex- 
tremely apprehensive of death ; and it was only by 
incessant application to his favorite study, that he pre- 
vented his spirits from sinking totally under the fears of 
approaching dissolution. At all other times he labored 
under a profound melancholy, during which he com- 
posed some of his best pieces, particularly his cele- 
brated Requiem. The circumstances attending this 
were remarkable. 

One day, when his spirits were unusually oppressed, 
a stranger, of a tall, dignified appearance, was intro- 
duced. His manners were grave and impressive. 


He told Mozart that he came from a person who did 
not wish to be known, to request that he would com- 
pose a solemn mass, as a requiem for the soul of a 
friend, whom he had recently lost, and whose memory 
he was desirous of commemorating by this im.posing 
service. Mozart undertook the task, and engaged to 
have it completed in a month. The stranger begged 
to know what price he set upon his work ; and imme- 
diately paying him one hundred ducats, he departed. 

The mystery of this visit seemed to have a strong 
effect on the mind of the musician. He brooded over 
it for some time ; and then suddenly calling for wri- 
ting materials, began to compose with extraordinary 
ardor. This application, however, was more than his 
strength could support; it brought on fainting fits, 
and his increasing illness obliged him to suspend his 
work. " I am writing the requiem for myself," said 
he one day to his wife ; " it will serve for my own 
funeral service ;" and this impression never afterwards 
left him. At the expiration of the month, the myste- 
rious stranger appeared, and demanded the requiem. 
" I have found it impossible," said Mozart, " to keep 
my word ; the work has interested me more than I 
expected, and I have extended it beyond my first de- 
sign. I shall require another month to finish it." 

The stranger made no objection ; but observing 
that for this additional trouble it was but just to in- 
crease the premium, laid down fifty ducats more, and 
promised to return at the time appointed. Astonished 
at his whole proceeding, Mozart ordered a servant to 
follow this singular personage, and, if possible, to find 
out who he was. The man, however, lost sight of 



him, and was obliged to return as he went. Mozart, 
now more than ever persuaded that he was a messen- 
ger from the other world, sent to warn him that his 
end was approaching, applied with fresh zeal to the 
requiem ; and in spite of his exhausted state, both 
of body and mind, he completed it before the end of 
the month. At the appointed day, the stranger re- 
turned ; the requiem was finished ; but Mozart was 
no more I He died at Vienna, 1791, aged 35 years. 


In an address delivered by Governor Everett, before 
a Mechanics' Association, in Boston, 1837, he intro- 
duced a letter from Elihu Burritt, a native of Connec- 
ticut, and then a resident of Worcester, Massachu- 
setts, of which the following is a copy : — 

" I was the youngest of many brethren, and my 
parents were poor. My means of education were 
limited to the advantages of a district school, and those 
again were circumscribed by my father's death, which 
deprived me, at the age of fifteen, of those scanty 
opportunities which I had previously enjoyed. 

" A few months after his decease, I apprenticed 
myself to a blacksmith in my native village. Thither 
I carried an indomitable taste for reading, which I 
had previously acquired through the medium of the 
society library, — all the historical works in which I 
had at that tim.e perused. At the expiration of a little 
more than half my apprenticeship, I suddenly con- 
ceived the idea of studying Latin. 

"Through the assistance of an elder brother, who 
had himself obtained a collegiate education by his 
own exertions, I completed my Virgil during the even- 
ings of one winter. After some time devoted to 
Cicero, and a few other Latin authors, I commenced 


the Greek : at this time it was necessary that I should 
devote every hour of daylight, and a part of the even- 
ing, to the duties of my apprenticeship. 

" Still I carried my Greek grammar in my hat, and 
often found a moment, when I was heating some 
large iron, when I could place my book open before 
me against the chimney of my forge, and go through 
with tupto^ lupteis, tuptci, unperceived by my fellow- 
apprentices. At evening I sat down, unassisted, to 
the Iliad of Homer, twenty books of which measured 
m.y progress in that language during the evenings of 
another winter. 

" I next turned to the modern languages, and was 
much gratified to learn that my knowledge of Latin 
furnished me with a key to the literature of most of 
the languages of Europe. This circumstance gave a 
new impulse to the desire of acquainting myself with 
the philosophy, derivation, and affinity of the different 
European tongues. I could not be reconciled to limit 
myself in these investigations, to a few hours, after 
the arduous labors of the day. 

" I therefore laid down my hammer, and went to 
New Haven, where I recited to native teachers, in 
French, Spanish, German, and Italian. I returned, 
at the expiration of two years, to the forge, bringing 
with me such books in those languages as I could 
procure. When I had read these books through, I 
commenced the Hebrew, with an awakened desire of 
examining another field ; and, by assiduous applica- 
tion, I was enabled in a few weeks to read this lan- 
guage with such facility, that I allotted it to mj^self 
as a task to read two chapters in the Hebrew Bible 



before breakfast, each morning ; this, and an hour at 
noon, being- all the time that I could devote to myself 
during the day. 

" After becoming somewhat familiar with this lan- 
guage, I looked around me for the means of initiating 
myself into the fields of Oriental literature ; and, to 
my deep regret and concern, I found my progress in 
this direction hedged in by the want of requisite 
books. I began immediately to devise means of ob- 
viating this obstacle ; and, after many plans, I con- 
cluded to seek a place as a sailor on board some ship 
bound to Europe, thinking in this way to have oppor- 
tunities of collecting, at different ports, such works in 
the modern and Oriental languages as I found neces- 
sary for this object. I left the forge at my native 
place, to carry this plan into execution. 

" I travelled on foot to Boston, a distance of more 
than a hundred miles, to find some vessel bound to 
Europe. In this I was disappointed; and, while 
revolving in my mind what steps next to take, I acci- 
dentally heard of the American Antiquarian Society, 
at Worcester. I immediately bent my steps toward 
this place. I visited the hall of the American Anti- 
quarian Society, and found there, to my infinite grat- 
ification, such a collection in ancient, modern, and 
Oriental languages, as I never before conceived to be 
collected in one place ; and, sir, you may imagine 
with what sentiments of gratitude I was affected, 
when, upon evincing a desire to examine some of 
these rich and rare works, I was kindly invited to 
unlimited participation in all the benefits of this noble 


" Availing myself of the kindness of the directors, 
I spent three hours daily at the hall, which, with an 
hour at noon, and about three in the evening, make 
up the portion of the day which I appropriate to my 
studies, the rest being occupied in arduous manual 
labor. Through the facilities afforded by this insti- 
tution, I have added so much to my previous acquain- 
tance with the ancient, modern, and Oriental lan- 
guages, as to be able to read upwards of fifty of 
them with more or less facility." 

This statement, however extraordinary it may seem, 
is well knowm to be but a modest account of Mr. 
Burritt's wonderful acquirements. He is still (1843) 
a practical blacksmith, yet he finds time to pursue his 
studies. Nor are his acquisitions his only merit. He 
has been frequently invited to deliver lectures before 
lyceums, and other associations, and in these he has 
displayed no small degree of eloquence and rhetorical 
power. As he is still a young man, we may venture 
to affirm that his history affords an instance of self- 
cultivation, which, having regard to all the circum- 
stances, is without a parallel. 


This eccentric man and clever artist was born in 
London, in 1763. He gave very early indications of 
genius, and when quite a child, used to draw objects 
on the floor, with the implements of his father, who 
was a painter, in crayons. He executed pictures of 
pencils, scissors, and other things of the kind, with so 
much perfection, that his father often mistook them for 
real ones, and stooped down to pick them up. Some 


of George's drawings, executed before he was five years 
old, were exhibited with great applause at the society 
of artists in London. 

These and other evidences of talent rendered him 
a favorite child ; his father saw the germs of excel- 
lence in his own art, and, at the age of fourteen, had 
him apprenticed to himself, for seven years, during 
which his application was incessant. His father 
appears to have been harsh, unfeeling and selfish, and 
to have thought more of obtaining money from the 
talents and exertions of his son, than of giving hira 
such training as should insure his success in life. 

During his apprenticeship, George was confined to 
an upper room, copying drawings or pictures, and 
drawing from plaster casts. Being almost entirely 
restricted from society, all the opportunities he had 
for amusement were obtained by stealth, and his asso- 
ciates were a few boys in the neighborhood. The 
means of enjoyment were obtained by such close 
application to his business, as secretly to produce a 
few drawings or pictures more than his father ima- 
gined he could complete in a given time. These he 
lowered by a string from the wdndow of his apart- 
ment, to his youthful companions, by whom they 
were converted into money, which they spent in com- 
mon when opportunities offered. 

In this manner passed the first seventeen years of 
the life of George Morland ; and to this unremitted 
diligence and application he was indebted for the 
extraordinary power he possessed over the implements 
of his art. Avarice, however, was the ruling passion 
of his father, and this was so insatiable, that he kept 



his son incessantly at work, and gave him little, if 
any, education, except as an artist. To this cause 
must doubtless be attributed the irregularities of his 
subsequent life. 

Morland's earlier compositions were small pictures 
of two or three figures, chiefly from the ballads of the 
day. These his father put into frames and sold for 
from one to three guineas. They were remarkable 
for their simple truth, and were much admired. Many 
of them were engraved, and widely circulated, which 
gave the young artist an extensive reputation. About 
this time, he went to Margate to spend the summer, 
and, by the advice of a friend, commenced portrait 
painting there. Great numbers of fashionable per- 
sons came to sit to him, and he commenced several 

But the society of accomplished people made him 
feel his own ignorance to such a degree as to render 
him unhappy, and he sought relief at pig races and 
in other coarse amusements, projected for the lower 
order of visitors at Margate. These at last engaged 
his whole attention, and the portraits were thrown 
aside, to be finished in town. He at last returned, 
with empty pockets and a large cargo of unfinished 

Morland continued, however, to rise rapidly in his 
profession, and he might easily have secured an am- 
ple fortune. The subjects he selected for his pencil, 
were, generally, rural scenes, familiar to every eye, 
and the sentiment they conveyed was felt by every 
beholder. Many of these were admirably engraved 
by the celebrated J. B. Smith, and immense numbers 


were sold. Morland now had demands for more 
pictures than he could execute, and at almost any 

But, unhappily, this gifted artist had already be- 
come addicted to the society of low picture dealers, 
and other dissipated persons, and his habits were, 
consequently, exceedingly irregular. His chief plea- 
sures seemed to be — a ride into the country to a grin 
ning match, a jolly dinner with a drinking bout after 
it, and a mad scamper home with a flounce in the 

Such, at last, was Morland's dislike of the society 
of gentlemen, and his preference of low company, 
that he would not paint pictures for the former class, 
but preferred selling them to certain artful dealers, 
who were his associates, and who flattered his vices, 
so that they might prey upon his genius. Of these 
persons, who pretended to be his friends, he did not 
obtain more than half price for his paintings. This 
system was carried to such an extent that Morland 
was at last entirely cut off* from all connection with 
the real admirers of his works. If a gentleman 
wished to get one of his pictures, he could only do it 
by employing one of these harpies who had access 
to the artist, and who would wheedle a picture out of 
him for a mere trifle, and all under the mask of 

About the year 1790, Morland lived in the neigh- 
borhood of Paddington. At this period, he had 
reached the very summit of his professional fame, 
and also of his extravagance. He kept, at one time, 
no less than eight saddle horses at livery, at the sign 


of the White Lion, opposite to his house, and affected 
to be a good judge of horse-flesh. Frequently, horses, 
for which one day he would give thirty or forty guin- 
eas, he would sell the next, for less than half that 
sum ; but as the honest fraternity of horse-dealers 
knew their man, and would take his note at two 
months, he could the more easily indulge this pro- 
pensity, and appear, for a short time, in cash, until 
the day of payment came, when a picture was pro- 
duced as a douceur for a renewal of the notes. 

This was one source of calamity which neither his 
industry, for which he was not remarkable, nor his 
talents, were by any means adequate to overcome. 
His wine merchant, who was also a gentleman in the 
discounting line, would sometimes obtain a picture 
worth fifty pounds, for the renewal of a bill. By this 
conduct, he heaped folly upon folly, to such a degree, 
that a fortune of ten thousand a year would have 
proved insufficient for the support of his waste and 

Morland's embarrassments, which now crowded 
upon him, were far from producing any change in his 
conduct ; and, at length, they conducted him, through 
the hands of a bailiff, into prison, of which, by the 
way, he had always entertained a foreboding appre- 
hension. This, however, did not render him imme- 
diately unhappy, but rather afforded him an opportu- 
nity of indulging, without restraint of any kind, his 
fatal propensities. There, he could mingle with such 
companions as were best adapted to his taste, and 
there too, in his own way, he could, without check or 


control, reign or revel, surrounded by the very lowest 
of the vicious rabble. 

When in confinement, and even sometimes when 
he was at liberty, it was common for him to have 
four guineas a day and his drink, — an object of no 
small consequence, as he began to drink before he 
began to paint, and continued to do both alternately, 
till he had painted as much as he pleased, or till the 
liquor had completely overcome him, when he claim- 
ed his money, and business was at an end for that 

This laid his employer under the necessity of pass- 
ing his whole time with him, in order to keep him in 
a state fit for labor, and to carry off the day's work 
when it was done ; otherwise some eavesdropper 
snapped up his picture, and his employer was left to 
obtain what redress he could. By pursuing this fatal 
system, he ruined his heaUh, enfeebled his genius, 
and sunk himself into general contempt. His consti- 
tution could not long sustain such an abuse of its 
powers. He was attacked with paralysis, and soon 
after, he died. 

Thus perished George Morland, at the early age 
of forty-one years ; a man whose best works will 
command esteem as long as any taste for the art of 
painting remains ; one whose talents might have 
insured him happiness and distinction, if he had 
been educated with care, and if his entrance into life 
had been guided by those who were able and willing 
to caution him against the snares which are continu- 
ally preparing by knavery for the inexperience and 
heedlessness of youth. Many of the subjects of Mor- 

1 18 MORLAND. 

land's pencil, are such as, of themselves, are far from 
pleasing. He delighted in representations of the pigsty. 
Yet even these, through the love we possess of truthful 
imitations, and the hallowing powers of genius, excite 
emotions of pleasure. His pictures of scenery around 
the cottage door, and of those rustic groups familiar 
to every eye, have the effect of poetry, and call into 
exercise those gentle sentiments, which, however la- 
tent, exist in every bosom. It is sad to reflect, that 
one who did so much to refine and civilize mankind, 
should himself have been the victim of the coarsest 
of vices. 


This remarkable man was born in the parish of St 
Catherine's, near the tower of London, on the 14th 
day of October, 1644. His father, who served in the 
time of the Commonwealth, in some of the highest 
maritime offices, was knighted by Charles the Second, 


and became a peculiar favorite of the then Duke of 

Young Penn had good advantages for education, 
and made such early improvement, that, about the fif- 
teenth year of his age, he was entered a student in 
Christ's Church College, Oxford, where he continued 
two years. He delighted much in manly sports at 
times of recreation ; but at length, being influenced 
by an ardent desire after pure and spiritual religion, 
of which he had before received some taste through 
the ministry of Thomas Lee, one of the people denom- 
inated Friends, or Quakers, he, with certain other 
students of that University, withdrew from the national 
way of worship, and held private meetings for the 
exercise of religion. Here they both preached and 
prayed among themselves. This gave great offence 
to the heads of the college, and young Penn, being 
but sixteen years of age, was fined for non-conformity, 
and at length, for persevering in his peculiar religious 
practices, was expelled the college. 

Having in consequence returned home, he still took 
great delight in the company of sober and religious 
people. His father, perceiving that this would be an 
obstacle in the way of his son's preferment, endeav- 
ored by words, and even very severe measures, to per- 
suade him to change his conduct. Finding these 
methods ineffectual, he was at length so incensed, that 
he turned young William out of doors. The latter 
was patient under this trial, and at last the father's 
affection subdued his anger. He then sent his son to 
France, in company with some persons of quality that 
were makinsf a tour thither. 


He continued in France a considerable time, and, 
under the influence of those around him, his mind 
was diverted from religious subjects. Upon his re- 
turn, his father, finding him not only a proficient in 
the French language, but also possessed of courtly- 
manners, joyfully received him, hoping now that his 
point was gained. Indeed, some time after his return 
from France, his carriage was such as justly to entitle 
him to the character of a finished gentleman. 

" Great about this time," says one of his biogra- 
phers, " was his spiritual conflict. His natural incli- 
nation, his lively and active disposition, his father's 
favor, the respect of his friends and acquaintance, 
strongly pressed him to embrace ihe glory and pleas- 
ures of this world, then, as it were, courting and 
caressing him, in the bloom of youth, to accept them. 
Such a combined force seemed almost invincible ; but 
the earnest supplication of his soul being to the Lord 
for preservation. He was pleased to grant such a por- 
tion of his power or spirit, as enabled him in due time 
to overcome all opposition, and with an holy resolu- 
tion to follow Christ, whatsoever reproaches or perse- 
cutions might attend him." 

About the year 1666, and when he was twenty-two 
years of age, his father committed to his care and 
management a considerable estate in Ireland, which 
occasioned his residence in that country. Thomas 
Lee, whom we have before mentioned, being at Cork, 
and Penn hearing that he was to be shortly at a meeting 
in that city, went to hear him ; and by the preaching 
of this man, which had made some impression on his 
mind ten years before, he was now thorouglily and 


effectually established in the faith of the Friends, and 
afterwards constantly attended the meetings of that 
people. Being again at a meeting at Cork, he, with 
many others, was apprehended, and carried before 
the mayor, and, with eighteen of his associates, was 
committed to prison ; but he soon obtained his dis- 
charge. This imprisonment was so far from terrify- 
ing, that it strengthened him in his resolution of a 
closer union with that people, whose religious inno- 
cence was the only crime for which they suffered. 
He now openly joined with the Quakers, and brought 
himself under the reproach of that name, then greatly 
ridiculed and hated. His former companions turned 
their caresses and compliments into bitter gibes and 
malignant derision. 

His father, receiving information of what had passed, 
ordered him home ; and the son readily obeyed. His 
deportment attested the truth of the information his 
father had received. He now again attempted, by 
every argument in his power, to move him ; but find- 
ing it impossible to obtain a general compliance with 
the customs of the times, he would have borne with 
him, provided he \vould have taken off his hat, in the 
presence of the king, the duke of York, and himself. 

This being proposed to the son, he desired time to 
consider of it. His father, supposing this to be with 
an intention of consulting his friends, the Quakers, 
assured him that he should see the face of none of 
them, but retire to his chamber till he could return 
him an answer. " Accordingly he withdrew, hum- 
bling himself before God, with fasting and supplica- 
tion, to know his heavenly mind and will, and became 


SO Strengthened in his resolution, that, returning; to his 
father, he humbly signified that he could not comply 
with his desire." 

All endeavors proving ineffectual to shake his con- 
stancy, his father, seeing himself utterly disappointed 
in his hopes, again turned him out of doors. After 
a considerable time, his steady perseverance evincing 
his integrity, his father's wrath became somewhat 
abated, so that he winked at his return to, and con- 
tinuance with, his family ; and though he did not pub- 
licly seem to countenance him, yet, when imprisoned 
for being at meetings, he would privately use his 
interest to get him released. In the twenty-fourth 
year of his age, he became a minister among the Qua- 
kers, and continued his useful labors, inviting the 
people to that serenity and peace of conscience he 
himself witnessed, till the close of his life. 

A spirit warmed with the love of God, and devoted 
to his service, ever pursues its main purpose ; thus, 
when restrained from preaching, Penn applied himself 
to writing. The first of his publications appears to 
have been entitled " Truth Exalted." Several trea- 
tises were also the fruits of his solitude, particularly 
the one entitled " No Cross, no Crown." 

In the year 1670, came forth the Conventicle Act, 
prohibiting Dissenters' meetings, under severe penal- 
ties. The edge of this new weapon was soon turned 
against the Quakers, who, not accustomed to flinch 
in the caus^ of religion, stood particularly exposed. 
Being forcibly kept out of their meeting-house in Grace 
Church street, they met as near it, in the open street, 
as they could : and Penn, preaching there, was appre- 


hended, and committed to Newgate. At the next 
sessions of the Old Bailey, together with William 
Mead, he was indicted for " being present at, and 
preaching to, an unlawful, seditious, and riotous 
assembly." At his trial he made a brave defence, 
discovering at once both the free spirit of an English- 
man and the undaunted magnanimity of a Christian, 
insomuch that, notwithstanding tlie frowns and mena- 
ces of the bench, the jury acquitted him. 

Not long after this trial, and his discharge from 
Newgate, his father died, perfectly reconciled to his 
son, and left him both his paternal blessing, and an 
estate of fifteen hundred pounds a year. He took 
leave of his son with these remarkable words ; " Son 
William, if you and your friends keep to your plain 
way of preaching, and keep to your plain way of liv- 
ing, you will make an end of the priests to the end 
of the world. Bury me by my mother ; live all in 
love; shun all manner of evil; and I pray God to 
bless you all; and he will bless you." 

In February, 1670, Penn was preaching at a meet- 
ing in Wheeler street, Spitalfields, when he was pulled 
down, and led out by soldiers into the street, and car- 
ried away to the Tower, by order of Sir John Robin- 
son, lieutenant of the Tower. He was examined 
before Sir John and several others, and then committed, 
by their orders, to Newgate, for six months. Being 
at liberty at the expiration of that time, he soon after 
went to Holland and Germany, where he zealously 
endeavored to propagate the principles of the Quakers. 

In March, 16S0, he obtained from Charles II. a 
grant of the territory which now bears the name of 


Pennsylvania. This was in compensation of a crown 
debt due to his father. Having previously published 
an account of the province, inviting emigrants to 
accompany him thither, he set sail in June, 1682, with 
many friends, especially Quakers, and after a pros- 
perous voyage of six weeks, they came within sight 
of the American coast. Sailing up the river Delaware, 
they were received by the inhabitants with demon- 
strations of joy and satisfaction. Having landed at 
Newcastle, a place mostly inhabited by the Dutch, 
Penn next day summoned the people to the court- 
house, where possession of the country was legally 
given him. 

Having invited the Indians to meet him, many 
chiefs and persons of distinction, appointed to repre- 
sent them, came to see liim. To these he gave several 
valuable presents, the* produce of English manufac- 
tures, as a testimony of that treaty of amity and good 
understanding, which, by his benevolent disposition, 
he ardently wished to establish with the native inhabi- 
tants. He made a most favorable impression upon the 
savages, and thus secured to Pennsylvania their favor. 
He then more fully stated the purpose of his coming, 
to the people, and the benevolent object of his govern- 
ment, giving them assurances of the free enjoyment 
of liberty of conscience in things spiritual, and of per- 
fect civil freedom in matters temporal. He recom- 
mended to them to live in sobriety and peace one 
with another. After about two years residence in the 
country, all things being in a thriving and prosperous 
condition, he returned to England ; and James 11. 
coming soon after to the throne, he was taken into 


favor by that monarch, who, though a bigot in reli- 
gion, was nevertheless a friend to toleration. 

At the revolution, being suspected of disaffection to 
the government, and looked upon as a Papist or a 
Jesuit, under the mask of a Quaker, he was examined 
before the Privy Council, Dec, 1688; but, on giving 
security, was discharged. In 1690, when the French 
fleet threatened a descent on England, he was again 
examined before the council, upon an accusation of 
corresponding with King James, and was held to bail 
for some time, but was released in Trinity Term. He 
was attacked a third time the same year, and deprived 
of the privilege of appointing a governor for Pennsyl- 
vania ; till, upon his vindication, he was restored to 
his right of government. He designed now to go 
over a second time to Pennsylvania, and published 
proposals in print for another settlement there ; when 
a fresh accusation appeared against him, backed by 
one William Fuller, who was afterwards declared by 
parliament to be a notorious impostor. A warrant 
was granted for Penn's apprehension, which he nar- 
rowly escaped at his return from the funeral of George 
Fox, the founder and head of the Quakers. He now 
concealed himself for two or three years, and during 
this recess, wrote several pieces. At the end of 1693, 
through the interest of Lord Somers and others, he 
was allowed to appear before the king and council, 
when he represented his innocence so effectually that 
he was acquitted. 

In 1699, he again went out to Pennsylvania, accom- 
panied by his family, and was received by the colo- 
nists with demonstrations of the most cordial welcome. 



During his absence, some persons endeavored to 
undermine the American proprietary governments, 
under pretence of advancing the prerogative of the 
crown, and a bill for that purpose was brought into 
the H. of Lords. Penn's friends, the proprietors and 
adventurers then in England, immediately represented 
the hardships of their case to the parliament, soliciting 
time for his return, to answer for himself, and accor- 
dingly pressing him to come over as soon as possible. 
Seeing it necessar}^ to comply, he summoned an 
assembly at Philadelphia, to whom, Sept. l'5th, 1701, 
he made a speech, declaring his reasons for leaving 
them ; and the next day he embarked for England, 
where he arrived about the middle of December. Af- 
ter his return, the bill, which, through the solicitations 
of his friends, had been postponed the last session of 
parliament, was wholly laid aside. 

In the year 1707, he was unhappily involved in a 
suit at law with the executors of a person who had 
been formerly his steward, against whose demands he 
thought both conscience and justice required his en- 
deavors to defend himself. But his cause, though 
many thought him aggrieved, was attended with such 
circumstances, that the court of chancery did not 
think it proper to relieve him ; wherefore he was 
obliged to dwell in the Old Bailey, within the rules 
of the Fleet, some part of this and the ensuing year, 
until such time as the matter in dispute was accom- 

In the year 1710, the air of London not agreeing 
with his declining constitution, he took a seat at Rush- 
comb, in Buckinghamshire. Here he experienced 


three successive shocks of apoplexy in 1712, the last 
of which sensibly impaired his memory and his under- 
standing. His religious zeal, however, never abated, 
and up to 1716, he still frequently went to the meet- 
ing at Reading. Two friends calling upon him at 
this time, although very weak, he expressed himself 
sensibly, and when they were about to take leave of 
him, he said, " My love is with you ; the Lord pre- 
serve you, and remember me in the Everlasting 

After a life of ceaseless activity and usefulness, 
Penn closed his earthly career on the 13th of May, 
1718, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. He was 
buried at Jourdans, in Buckinghamshire, where sev- 
eral of his family had been interred. 


There are few names that excite more interest or 
awaken more romantic associations than that of Cap- 
tain John Smith. He passed through a series of the 
most remarkable events in Europe ; and coming- to our 
country at a period which was favorable to the exer- 
cise of his peculiar genius, he became the hero of 
many stirring adventures. ' 

He was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lin- 
colnshire, England, in the year 1579, and was de- 
scended from an ancient family. He displayed a love 
of enterprise in his early childhood, and he says that 
at thirteen years old he was " set upon brave adven- 



tures." This disposition led him to dispose of his 
books, his satchel, and Avhat other little property he 
had, for the purpose of raising money to take him to 
sea ; but losing his parents about this time, he received 
from them a considerable fortune. He was now 
induced to change his plans, and beeame apprenticed 
to an eminent merchant in London. 

As might be expected, the drudgery and confine- 
ment of a compting house were very distasteful to one 
who was bent upon adventure ; accordingly, with but 
ten shillings in his pocket, he became a follower of 
the son of Lord Willoughby, who was going to 
France. AVhen he arrived there, he w^ent into the 
service of Captain Joseph Duxbury, with whom he 
remained four years in Holland. How he was occu 
pied during this period is uncertain. About this time, 
a Scotch gentleman kindly gave him some money, 
and letters to Scotland, assuring him of the favor of 
King James. 

Smith now set sail, and arrived in Scotland after 
many disasters by sea, and great sickness of body. 
He delivered his letters, and was treated with kind- 
ness and hospitality ; but his stay was short. Ee- 
turning to his native town, and disappointed in not 
having found food for his wild love of adventure, he 
went into a forest, built himself a sort of hut, and 
studied military history and tactics. Here he lived 
for a time, being provided by his servant with the 
comforts of civilization, at the same time that he 
pleased his imagination with the idea of being a her- 
mit. Accident throwing him into the society of an 
Italian gentleman, in military service, his ardor for 

SMITH. 131 

active life was revived, and he set out again upon his 
travels, intending to fight against the Turks. 

Being robbed of all his baggage and property in 
the Low Countries by some dastardly Frenchmen, 
he fortunately met with great kindness and generos- 
ity from several noble families. Prompted, however, 
by the same restless spirit with which he commenced 
life, he left those who were strongly interested in his 
welfare, and set out upon a journey, with a light 
purse and a good sword. In the course of his travels, 
he was soon in such a state of suffering from hunger 
and exposure, that he threw himself down in a wood, 
and there expected to die. But relief again appeared ; 
a rich farmer chanced to come that way, who, upon 
hearing his story, supplied his purse, thus giving him 
the means of prosecuting his journey. There is 
scarcely an instance on record of a stranger receiving 
such kindness from his fellow-men, as did this same 

He now went from port to port in search of a ship 
of war. During his rambles, he met, near a town in 
Brittany, witli one of the villains who had robbed 
him. Smith immediately fought and vanquished 
him, making him confess his villany before a crowd 
of spectators. He then went to the seat of the Earl 
of Ployer, who gave him money, with which he em- 
barked from Marseilles for Italy, in a ship in which 
there was a number of Catholic pilgrims of various 
nations. A furious storm arising, these devotees took 
it into their heads that Heaven, in anger at the pres- 
ence of a heretic, thus manifested its displeasure. 
They, therefore, set upon our hero, who, in spite of a 

132 SMITH. 

valorous defence, was, like a second Jonah, thrown 
into the sea ; but whether the angry elenrients were 
appeased by the offering, history saith not. 

Being near the island of Saint Mary's, Smith easily 
swam thither, and was the next day taken on board 
a French ship, the commander of which, fortunately 
for Smith, was a friend of the Earl of Ployer, and 
treated him witli great kindness. They then sailed 
to Alexandria, in Egypt. In the course of their voy- 
age in the Levant, they met with a rich Venetian 
merchant ship, which, taking the French ship for a 
pirate, fired a broadside into her. This rough salu- 
tation, of course, brought on an engagement, in w^hich 
the Venetians were defeated, and her cargo taken on 
board the victorious ship. Smith here met with 
something congenial to his wild and reckless spirit ; 
and showing great valor on the occasion, he was re- 
warded Avith a large share of the booty. With this, 
he was enabled to travel in Italy, gratifying his 
curiosity by the interesting objects with which that 
country is filled. He at length set off for Gratz, the 
residence of Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and 
afterwards emperor of Germany. 

The war was now raging between Rodolph, empe- 
ror of Germany, and Mahomet III., Grand Seignor of 
Turkey. Smith, by the aid of two of his country- 
men, became introduced to some officers of distinction 
in the imperial army, who were very glad to obtain 
so valiant a soldier as Smith was likely to prove. 
This was in the year 1601. The Turkish army, 
under the command of Ibrahim Pasha, had besieged 
and taken a fortress in Hungary, and were ravaging 

SMITH. 133 

the country. They were also laying siege to Olym- 
pach, which they had reduced to extremity. 

Baron Kissel, who annoyed the besiegers from 
without, was desirous of sending a message to the 
commander of the garrison. Here was now an op- 
portunity for Smith's talents and prowess to come into 
play. He entered upon his duty, and by means of 
telegraphs, he communicated the desired intelligence 
to the besieged fortress ; and then, exercising his 
ingenuity, he arranged some thousands of matches on 
strings, so that when they were fired, the report de- 
ceived the Turks into the idea that a body of men 
were there. They consequently marched out to 
attack them. Smith's forces, with those of the garri- 
son, which had been duly apprized of the scheme, 
fell upon them, and routed them. The Turks were 
now obliged to abandon the siege. This brilliant 
and successful exploit placed our hero at the head 
of a troop of two hundred and fifty horse, in the regi- 
ment of Count Meldritch. 

The next adventure in which Smith's ingenuity 
was called into exercise was at the siege of Alba 
Regalis, in Hungary. He here contrived a sort of 
bomb, by which the Turks w^re greatly annoyed and 
their city set on fire ; a bold military manoeuvre being 
adopted -at the critical moment, the place was taken, 
the Turks suflTering great loss. A number of sieges 
and undecisive skirmishes now followed, w^hich 
brought upon the Christians the jeers and scofls of 
the Turks. One of their number. Lord Turbashaw, 
a man of military renown, sent a challenge to any 
captain of the Christian army to fight with him in 

134 SMITH. 

single combat. The choice fell upon Smith, who 
ardently desired to meet the haughty Mussulman. 

The day was appointed, the ground selected and 
lined with warlike soldiers and fair ladies. Lord 
Turbashaw entered the lists in splendid gilt armor, 
with wings on his shoulders, of eagle's feathers, gar- 
nished with gold and jewels. A janizary bore his 
lance, and two soldiers walked by the side of his 
horse. Smith was attended only by a page, bearing 
his lance. He courteously saluted his antagonist, 
and, at the sound of the trumpet, their horses set for- 
ward. They met with a deadly shock. Smith's lance 
pierced the visor of the Turk, and he fell dead from 
his horse. The day after, another challenge was 
sent to Smith ; another encounter took place ; and he 
was again victorious. Still another challenge met 
with the same result, and Smith was rewarded for 
his prowess in a signal manner, being made major of 
his regiment, and receiving all sorts of military hon- 
ors. The Prince of Transylvania gave him a pension 
of three hundred ducats a year, and bestowed upon 
him a patent of nobility. 

These events occurred about the year 1600. Va- 
rious military movements followed in Moldavia, Smith 
taking an active part in whatever of enterprise and 
daring was going forward. In one instance, he nar- 
rowly escaped with his life. 

In a mountainous pass, he was decoyed into an 
ambuscade, and though the christians fought despe- 
rately, they were nearly all cut to pieces. Smith was 
wounded and taken, but his life was spared by the 
cupidity of the conquerors, who expected a large sum 

SMITH. 135 

for his ransom. He was sold as a slave and sent to 
Constantinople. He was afterwards removed to Tar- 
tary, where he suffered abuse, cruelty, and hardships 
of every description. At last he seized a favorable 
opportunity, rose against his master, slew him, clothed 
himself in his dress, mounted his horse, and was again 
at liberty. 

Roaming about in a vast desert for many days, 
chance at length directed him to the main road, which 
led from Tartary to Russia, and in sixteen days he 
arrived at a garrison, where the governor and his lady 
took off his irons and treated him with great care 
and kindness. Thence he travelled into Transylva- 
nia, where he arrived in 1603. Here he met many 
of his old companions in arms, who overwhelmed 
him with honors and attentions. They had thought 
him dead, and rejoiced over him as one risen from 
the grave. 

Still unsatisfied with perils and honors, hearing 
that a civil war had broken out in Barbary, he sailed 
to Africa, but, not finding the cause worthy of his 
sword, he returned to England in 1604, where a new 
field of adventure opened before him. Attention had 
been awakened in England upon the subject of colo- 
nizing America, by the representation of Captain 
Gosnold, who, in 1602, had made a voyage to the 
coast of New England. He gave delightful accounts 
of the fertility of the country and salubrity of the 
climate, and was anxious to colonize it Of course, 
this plan was embraced with ardor by Smith, being a 
project just suited to his roving disposition, and his 
love for "hair breadth 'scapes." 

136 SMITH. 

James L, who was now king, being inclined to the 
plan, an expedition was fitted out in 1606, of one 
hundred and five colonists, in three small vessels. 
Among the foremost of the adventurers were Gosnold 
and Smith, who seemed to be drawn together by a 
kind of instinct. After a voyage of four months, in 
which dissensions and mutiny caused much trouble 
and uneasiness, and which resulted in Smith's im- 
prisonment during the voyage, the colonists arrived 
at Chesapeake Bay in April, 1607. The landscape, 
covered with the new grass of spring, and varied with 
hills and valleys, seemed like enchantment to the 
worn-out voyagers. With joy they left their ships, 
and passed many days in choosing a spot for a resting- 
place and a home. 

Here new troubles assailed them. The Indians in 
the vicinity looked upon their encroachments with 
jealous eyes, and attacked them with their arrows, 
but the colonists quickly dispersed them with mus- 
kets. Others, however, more peaceable, treated our 
adventurers with kindness. A settlement was now 
made upon a peninsula on James's river, to which 
they gave the name of Jamestown. 

Of course, in a settlement like this, there must 
be suffering, and consequently, discontent. Much 
of this was manifested towards Smith, who, by his 
energy and perseverance, excited the envy of those 
associated with him in the management of the infant 
colony. At the same time, he became the object of 
dread to the Indians, by his bravery and resources. 
Many of the colonists died of hunger and disease; 
many were dispirited ; and at last, in despair, they 

SMITH. 137 

turned to our adventurer as their only hope in this 
hour of need. Like all generous spirits, he forgot his 
injuries, and set himself to work to remedy the evils 
that beset them. By his ingenuity and daring, he 
obtained from the Indians liberal supplies of corn, 
venison, and wild fowl, and, under the influence of 
good cheer, the colonists became, comparatively, 

But a new and unforeseen calamity awaited our 
hero. Having penetrated into the country, with but 
few followers, he was beset by a large party of In- 
dians, and, after a brave resistance, was taken prisoner. 
But the spirit and presence of mind of this remark- 
able man did not forsake him in this alarming crisis. 
He did not ask for life, for this would, probably, have 
hastened his death ; but requesting that he might see 
the Indian chief, he at the same time drew from his 
pocket a compass, and directed attention to it, partly 
by signs and partly by words which he had learned. 
The curious instrument amused and surprised his 
savage captors, and averted, for a time, the fate that 
awaited him. 

They soon, however, tied him to a tree, and pre- 
pared to shoot him with their arrows. Changing 
their plans suddenly, they led him in a procession to 
a village, where they confined him and fed him so 
abundantly, that Smith thought they were probably 
fattening him for food. After a variety of savage 
ceremonies, the Indians took him to Werowcomoco — 
the residence of Powhatan, a celebrated chief, of a 
noble and majestic figure, and a countenance bespeak- 
ing the severity and haughtiness of one whose nod is 

138 SMITH. 

Powhatan was seated on a throne, with one of his 
daughters on each side of him. Many Indians were 
standing- in the hut, their skins covered with paint, 
and ornamented with feathers and beads. As Smith 
was brought bound into the room, there was a loud 
shout of triumph, which Avarned him that his last hour 
had arrived. They gave him water to wash, and food 
to eat, and then, holding a consultation, they deter- 
mined to kill him. Two large stones were brought 
in and placed before the unbending chief. Smith 
was dragged forward, his head placed upon the stones, 
and the fatal club raised for the cruel deed. 

But what stays the savage arm ? A child of twelve 
or thirteen, Pocahontas by name, the chiefs favorite 
child, melted by the pity that seldom moves the heart 
of her race, ran to our hero, clasped his head in her 
arms, laid herself down with him on the block, deter- 
mined to share his fate. Surely, of the numberless acts 
of kindness and benevolence which had been showered 
at different times upon Smith, this transcended them 
all ! Startled by the act, and perhaps sympathizing 
with the feelings of his child, Powhatan raised Smith 
from the earth, and in two days, sent him with twelve 
Indian guides to Jamestown, from which place he had 
been absent seven weeks. 

Smith found the colony disheartened by his ab- 
sence, and in want of provisions. These he procured 
from the Indians, bartering blue beads for corn and 
turkeys. A fire broke out about this time, and burned 
Tip many of the houses of the colony ; this damage, 
however, Smith set about repairing — his patience and 
energy surmounting every evil. 

SMITH. 139 

In June, 1608, our adventurer, tired of his mode 
of life, set out, with fourteen others, to explore Chesa- 
peake Bay and the Potomac river. . They encoun- 
tered many tribes of Indians, but Smith's boldness 
always averted their assaults ; and his frank and open 
demeanor generally turned his enemies into friends. 
The party returned to Jamestown in July, when Smith 
was made the president of the colony. 

He now made several expeditions, frequently meet- 
ing with adventures, and falling in with numerous 
tribes of Indians. He and his party had many skir- 
mishes, and suffered considerably from the assaults of 
the savages ; but Smith's sagacity and ingenuity ren- 
dered them comparatively harmless. He explored the 
whole of Chesapeake Bay, sailing nearly 3000 miles, 
in the space of three months. 

About this time, an expedition arrived from the 
mother country, under Capt. Newport, whose object 
was to make discoveries, and as they were to pass 
through Powhatan's territories, it was thought best to 
secure his favor by various presents. Accordingly, 
a bed and hangings, a chair of state, a suit of scarlet 
clothes, a crown, and other articles, were presented to 
him with great ceremony. At his coronation, having 
been with difficulty persuaded by the English to 
kneel, the moment the crown touched his head, a 
volley was fired from the boats, which caused the 
newly-made monarch to start up with affright. By 
way of return for these honors, Powhatan generously 
presented Captain Newport with his old shoes and 
mantle ! 

Notwithstandinpr Smith's exertions in behalf of the 



colony, the council in England were constantly dis- 
satisfied with him. But he did not allow anything to 
abate his zeal for the welfare of the colony under his 
command ; even though they were harassed by the 
Indians, and suffering from sickness and privation, he 
still kept up his courage and energy. He entreated 
the managers in England to send them out mechan- 
ics and husbandmen, instead of the idle young gen- 
tlemen who had come with Newport, and took every 
step in his power to promote the prosperity of the 

The colony being now in great want of supplies, 
Smith made many exertions to procure them, but the 
Indians refused to part with any more provisions. A 
great war of words ensued between Smith and Pow- 
hatan, which ended in hostilities. Smith endeavoring 
to take the latter prisoner. The Indians, in their turn, 
made preparations to attack the English by night. Of 
this, they were warned by Pocahontas, who continued 
her kind interpositions in favor of Smith. 

Our hero had now experienced, it would seem, 
enough of adventure and peril to satisfy his desires. 
He often narrowly escaped with his life, for the In- 
dians held him in dread, as one to whose prowess 
they were always obliged to yield, and whose address 
was always an overmatch for their own. If they sus- 
pected him of any hostile intentions towards them, 
they propitiated him by loads of provisions. To give 
some idea of this — Smith returned from one of his 
expeditions with two hundred pounds of deer's flesh, 
and four hundred and seventy-nine bushels of corn. 
But at length, growing weary of exertion, and of the 



animadversion of the English company, with trouble 
abroad, and mutiny and sickness at home, he returned 
to England in 1609. 

From this period to 1614, little or nothing is known 
of him. At this date, we again find him, true to his 
nature, sailing with two ships to Maine, for the pur- 
pose of capturing whales and searching for gold. 
Failing in these expectations. Smith left his men fish- 
ing for cod, while he surveyed the coast, from Penob- 
scot to Cape Cod, trafficking with the Indians for furs. 
He then returned to England, and gave his map to 
the king, Charles I., and requested him to change 
some of the barbarous names which had been given 
to the places discovered. Smith gave the country 
the name of New England. Cape Cod, the name 
given by Gosnold, on account of the number of cod- 
fish found there, was altered by King Charles to Cape 
James, but the old title has always been retained. 
With the modesty ever manifested by Smith, he 
gave his own name only to a small cluster of islands, 
which, by some strange caprice, are now called the 
Isles of Shoals. 

In January, 1615, Captain Smith set sail for New 
England, with two ships, from Plymouth in England, 
but was driven back by a storm. He embarked again 
in June, but met with all kinds of disasters, and was 
at last captured by a French squadron, and obliged to 
remain all summer in the admiral's ship. When 
this ship went to battle with English vessels, Smith was 
sent below ; but when tiiey fell in with Spanish ships, 
they obliged him to fight with them. They at length 
carried him to Rochelle, where they put him on board 

142 SMITH. 

a ship in the harbor. This was but a miserable exis- 
tence to our hero, and he sought various opportunities 
of escape. 

At length, a violent storm arising, all hands went 
below, to avoid the pelting rain, and Smith pushed 
off in a boat, with a half pike for an oar, hoping to 
reach the shore. But a strong current carried him 
out to sea, where he passed twelve hours in imminent 
danger, being constantly covered with the spray. At 
last, he was thrown upon a piece of marshy land, 
where some fowlers found him, nearly drowmed. He 
was relieved and kindly treated at Rochelle, and soon 
returned to England. 

While these adventures were happening to Smith, 
Pocahontas became attached to an English gentleman, 
of the name of Rolfe, having previously separated 
herself from her father. This would seem an unnat- 
ural step, were it not for the fact that she had a more 
tender and mild nature than that of lier nation, and 
could not endure to see the cruelties practised against 
the English, in whom she felt so strong an interest. 
She w^as married in 1813, and by means of this event 
a lasting peace was established with Powhatan and 
his tribe. 

In 1616, Pocahontas visited England with her hus- 
band. She had learned to speak English well, and 
was instructed in the doctrines of Christianity. As 
soon as Smith heard of her arrival, he w^ent imme- 
diately to see her, and he describes her in this inter- 
view as " turning about and obscuring her face," no 
doubt, overcome by old recollections. She afterwards, 
however, held a long conversation with Smith. This 
interesting creature was not destined to return to her 

SMITH. 143 

own land, for, being taken sick at Gravesend, in 1617, 
she died, being only twenty-two years old. 

Much has been written concerning this friend of 
the whites, and all agree in ascribing to her character 
almost every quality that may command respect and 
esteem. She combined the utmost gentleness and 
sweetness, with great decision of mind and nobleness 
of heart. Captain Smith has immortalized her by his 
eloquent description of her kindness to him and his 
people. From her child are descended some honora- 
ble families now living in Virginia. 

Captain Smith intended to sail for New England 
in 1617, but his plans failed, and he remained in 
England, using constant exertions to persuade his 
countrymen to settle in America. In 1622, the In- 
dians made a dreadful massacre at Jamestown, de- 
stroying three hundred and forty-seven of the English 
settlers. This news affected Smith very much, and 
he immediately made proposals to go over to New 
England, with forces sufficient to keep the Indians in 
check. But the people of England made so many 
objections to the plan, that it was given up by our hero, 
though with great regret. From this period, his story 
is little known, and we are only told that he died in 
1631. His life is remarkable for the variety of wild 
adventures in Avhich he was engaged ; his character 
is marked as well by courage and daring, as by the 
somewhat opposite qualities of boldness and perse- 
verance. He seems also to have possessed many 
noble and generous qualities of heart. He had, 
indeed, the elements of greatness, and had he been 
called to a wider field gf action, he might have left a 
nobler fame among- the annals of mankind. 


This extraordinary man was born at Litchfield, or 
Salisbury, Connecticut, about the year 1740. He 
had five brothers and two sisters, named Heman, He- 
ber, Levi, Zimri, Ira, Lydia and Lucy. Four or five 
of the former emigrated to Vermont, with Ethan, 
where their bold, active and enterprising spirits found 
an abundant opportunity for its display. Many a 
wild legend, touching their adventures, still lingers 
among the traditions of the Green Mountains. 

About the year 1770, a dispute between New York 
and New Hampshire, as to the dividing line between 
the two provinces, and which had long been pending, 
came to a crisis. The territory of Vermont was 
claimed by both parties ; and some of the settlers who 
had received grants from Governor Wentworth, of 
New Hampshire, were threatened with being ejected 
from their lands by legal processes, proceeding from 
the province of New York. 

The Aliens had selected their lands in the town- 
ship of Bennington, Avhich had now become a con- 
siderable place. The New York government, in 
conformity with their interpretation of their rights, 

ALLEN. 145 

had proceeded to grant patents, covering these very- 
lands on which farms had now been brought to an 
advanced state of culture, and where houses had been 
built and orchards planted by the original purchasers. 
These proprietors were now called upon to take out 
new patents, at considerable expense, from New York, 
or lose their estates. 

This privilege of purchasing their own property- 
was regarded by the Vermonters as rather an insult, 
than a benefit, and most of them refused to comply. 
The question was at last brought to trial at Albany, 
before a New York court, Allen being employed by 
the defendants as their agent. The case was, of 
course, decided against them, and Allen was advised, 
by the king's attorney-general, to go home and make 
the best terms he could with his new masters, remark- 
ing, that "might generally makes right." The 
reply of the mountaineer v/as brief and significant : 
" The gods of the valley are not the gods of the 
hills ;" by which he meant that the agents of the New 
York government would find themselves baffled at 
Bennington, should they undertake to enforce the 
decision of the court, against the settlers there. 

Allen's prediction was prophetic. The sheriflfs 
sent by the government were resisted, and finally, a 
considerable force was assembled, and placed under 
the command of Allen, who obliged the officers to 
desist from their proceedings. A proclamation was 
now issued by the governor of New York, offering a 
reward of twenty pounds for the apprehension of / 
Allen. The latter issued a counter proclamation, 
offering a reward of five pounds to any one who 

146 ALLEN. 

would deliver the attorney-general of the colony into 
his power. 

Various proceedings took place, and for several 
years, the present territory of Vermont presented a 
constant series of disturbances. The New York gov- 
ernment persevered in its claims, and the settlers as 
obstinately resisted. In all these measures, whether 
of peace or war, Allen was the leader of the Green 
Mountain yeomanry. Various plots were laid for his 
apprehension, but his address and courage always 
delivered him from the impending danger. At last, 
the revolution broke out, and the dispute was arrested 
by events which absorbed the public attention. The 
rival claims being thus suspended, the people of 
Vermont were left to pursue their own course. 

A few days after the battle of Lexington, a project 
was started at Hartford, Connecticut, for the capture 
of Fol-t Ticonderoga, then belonging to the British. 
Several persons set out upon this enterprise, and tak- 
ing Bennington in their way, Allen joined them with 
some of his " Green Mountain Boys," and was ap- 
pointed commander of the expedition. The little band 
arrived, without molestation, on the banks of Lake 
George, opposite the fort. They procured boats suf- 
ficient to carry eighty-three men. These crossed in 
the night, and landed just at the dawn of day. While 
the boats were gone back with the remainder of the 
troops, Allen resolved to attack the fort. 

He drew up the men in three ranks, addressed them 
in a short harangue, ordered them to face to the right, 
and placing himself at the head of the middle file, 
led them silently, but with a quick step, up the heights 

ALLEN. 147 

where the fortress stood ; and before the sun rose, he 
had entered the gate, and formed his men on the 
parade between the barracks. Here they gave three 
huzzas, which aroused the sleeping inmates. When 
Colonel Allen passed the gate, a sentinel snapped his 
fusee at him, and then retreated under a covered way. 
Another sentinel made a thrust at an officer w4th a 
bayonet, which slightly wounded him. Colonel Allen 
returned the compliment w4th a cut on the side of the 
soldier's head, at which he threw down his musket, 
and asked quarter. 

No more resistance was made. Allen now de- 
manded to be shown to the apartment of Captain 
Delaplace, the commander of the garrison. It was 
pointed out, and Allen, with Beman, his guide, at 
his elbow, hastily ascended the stairs, which were 
attached to the outside of the barracks, and called 
out with a voice of thunder at the door, ordering 
the astonished captain instantly to appear, or the 
whole garrison should be sacrificed. 

Startled at so strange and unexpected a summons, 
the commandant sprang from his bed and opened the 
door, when the first salutation of his boisterous and 
unseasonable visitor w^as an order immediately to 
surrender the fort. Rubbing his eyes, and trying to 
collect his scattered senses, the captain asked by what 
authority he presumed to make such a demand. " In 
the name of the Great Jehovah, and the Continental 
Congress!" said Allen. 

Not accustomed to hear much of the continental 
congress in this remote corner, nor to respect its 
authority when he did, the commandant began to 

148 ALLEN. 

remonstrate ; but Colonel Allen cut short the thread 
of his discourse, by lifting his sword over his head, 
and reiterating the demand for an immediate surren- 
der. Having neither permission to argue, nor power 
to resist. Captain Delaplace submitted, ordering his 
men to parade, without arms, and the garrison was 
given up to the victors."^ 

The fruit of this victory was about fifty prisoners, 
with one hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, be- 
side other arms and military stores. A few days 
after, the fort at Crown Point was taken, and some 
other successful enterprises were achieved. Allen 
obtained great credit by these performances. 

In the following autumn, he was twice despatched 
into Canada, to engage the inhabitants to lend their 
support to the American cause. In the last of these 
expeditions, he formed a plan, in concert with Colonel 
Brown, to reduce Montreal. Allen, accordingly, 
crossed the river in September, 1775, at the head of 
one hundred and ten men, but was attacked, before 
Brown could join him, by the British troops, consist- 
ing of five hundred men, and, after a most obstinate 
resistance, was taken prisoner. The events of his 
captivity he himself has recorded in a narrative com- 
piled after his release, in the most singular style, but 
apparently with great fidelity. 

For some time he was kept in irons, and treated 
with much severity. He was sent to England as a 
prisoner, with an assurance that, on his arrival there, 
he would meet with the halter. During the passage, 

* Sparks' Biography. 

ALLEN. 149 

extreme cruelty was exercised towards him and his 
fellow-prisoners. They were all, to the number of 
thirty-four, thrust, handcuffed, into a small place in 
the vessel, not more than twenty feet square. After 
about a month's confinement in Pendennie castle, 
near Falmouth, he was put on board a frigate, Janu- 
ary 8, 1776, and carried to Halifax. Thence, after 
an imprisonment of five months, he was removed to 
New York. 

On the passage from Halifax to the latter place, he 
was treated with great kindness by Captain Smith, 
the commander of the vessel, and he evinced his 
gratitude by refusing to join in a conspiracy on board 
to kill the British captain and seize the frigate. His 
refusal prevented the execution of the plan. He 
remained at New York for a year and a half, some- 
times in confinement, and sometimes at large, on 

In 1778, Allen was exchanged for Colonel Camp- 
bell, and immediately afterwards, repaired to the head 
quarters of General Washington, by whom he was 
received with much respect. As his health was 
impaired, he returned to Vermont, after having made 
an offer of his services to the commander-in-chief, in 
case of his recovery. His arrival in Vermont was 
celebrated by the discharge of cannon ; and he was 
soon appointed to the command of the state militia, 
as a mark of esteem for his patriotism and military 
talents. A fruitless attempt was made by the British 
to bribe him to lend his support to a union of Ver- 
mont with Canada. He died suddenly at his estate 
at Colchester. February 13, 1789. 

150 ALLEN. 

Allen was a man of gigantic stature, being nearly 
seven feet in height, and every way of relative pro- 
portions. He possessed undaunted courage, and 
blended bold enterprise with much sagacity. His 
early education was imperfect, but he was the master- 
spirit in the society among which he lived, and he 
exercised a powerful influence in laying the founda- 
tions of the state of Vermont. He was a sincere 
friend of his country, and did much in behalf of the 
revolution. When applied to by the rebel Shays, to 
become the leader of the insurrection in 1786, he 
rejected the proffer with indignation. 

Allen was a man of great determination, and, living 
in the midst of turmoil, was somewhat reckless in 
his temper. While he held a military command, 
during the revolution, a notorious spy was taken and 
brought to his quarters. Allen immediately sentenced 
him to be hung at the end of two or three days, and 
arrangements were accordingly made for the execu- 
tion. At the appointed time, a large concourse of 
people had collected around the gallows, to witness 
the hanging. In the mean time, however, it had been 
intimated to Allen that it was necessary to have a 
regular trial of the spy. 

This was so obvious, that he felt compelled to 
postpone the execution of the culprit. Irritated, how- 
ever, at this delay of justice, he proceeded to the 
gallows, and, mounting the scaffold, harangued the 
assembly somewhat as follows : " I know, my friends,- 
you have all come here to see Rowley hanged, and, 
no doubt, you will be greatly disappointed to learn 
that the performances can't take place to-day. Your 

ALLEN. 151 

disappointment cannot be greater than mine, and I 
now declare that if you '11 come here a fortnight from 
this day, Rowley shall be hung, or I will be hung 

The rude state of society in which Allen spent the 
greater part of his life was little calculated to polish 
his manners. Being at Philadelphia, before the elec- 
tion of General Washington as president, he was 
invited to dinner, by the general upon an occasion 
of some ceremony. He took his seat by the side of 
Mrs. Washington, and in the course of the meal, 
seeing some Spanish olives before him, he took one 
of them, and put it in his mouth. It Avas the first he 
had ever tasted, and, of course, his palate revolted. 
*' With your leave, ma'am," said he, turning to Lady 
Washington, " I '11 take this plaguy thing out of my 

When Allen was in England, a prisoner, persons 
who had heard him represented as a giant in stature, 
and scarcely short of a cannibal in habits and dispo- 
sition, came to see him, and gazed at him with min- 
gled wonder and disgust. It is said, that, on one 
occasion, a tenpenny nail was thrown in to him, as if 
he were a wild animal. He is reported to have picked 
it up, and, in his vexation, to have bitten it in two. 
h is in allusion to this that Doctor Hopkins wrote, — 

*•' Lo, Allen 'scaped from British jails, 
His tushes broke by biting nails," &c. 

But however rude were Allen's manners, he was a 
man of inflexible integrity. He was sued, upon a 
certain occasion, for a note of hand, which was wit- 

152 ALLEN. 

nessed by an individual residing at Boston. When the 
case came on for trial in one of the Vermont courts, 
the lawyer whom Allen had employed to manage it 
so as to get time, rose, and, for the purpose of secur- 
ing this object, pleaded a denial of the signature. 

It chanced that Allen was in the court-house at 
this moment, and hearing this plea, he strode across 
the court-room, and, while his eyes flashed with 
indignation, he spoke to the court as follows : " May 
it please your honors, that 's a lie ! I say I did sign 
that note, and I did n't employ Lawyer C ^ "^ "^ ^ ^ ^ 
to come here and tell a falsehood. That 's a genuine 
note, and I signed it, please your honors, and I mean 
to pay it; all I want is to put it over till next court, when 
I expect to have money enough to meet it ! " This 
speech gratified the opposing counsel so much, that he 
immediately consented to the delay which Allen de- 

Though Allen's education was limited, by reading 
and reflection he had acquired a considerable amount 
of knowledge. Presuming upon this, and guided by 
the eccentricity which marked his character, he ven- 
tured to assail the Christian religion, in a book enti- 
tled, " The Oracles of Reason." Though he here 
expressed belief in a God, and a future state of rewards 
and punishments, he rejected the Bible, and seemed to 
favor the Pythagorian doctrine of transmigration of 
souls. He entertained the idea that he was himself 
destined to reappear on earth in the condition of a 
great white horse ! These absurdities show into 
what depths of folly a great man may be led, if he 
permit his self-conceit to involve him in the discus- 
sion of subjects beyond his grasp. 


This individual was one of those remarkable char- 
acters, formed by the rough and adventurous circum- 
stances of western life. His paternal grandfather and 
grandmother, who were of Irish descent, were mur- 
dered by the Creek Indians, in Tennessee. He had 
an uncle who was wounded at the same time, and 
remained in captivity with the savages for seventeen 
months. The subject of our memoir was born in 
1786, on the banks of Nola-chucky river, he being 
the fifth son. 

At this period, Tennessee was nearly a wilderness, 
and the forests were still, to a great extent, the domin- 
ion of the Indian and the wild beast. Brought up in 
this condition, his youthful imagination tinged by the 
tragic story of his ancestors, it was natural that our 
young hero should have become an early lover of 
those wild enterprises and hazardous adventures which 
belong to border life. 

In the memoir with which Crockett has favored us, 
he gives an account of many events, some of which 
are not a little marvellous, though we have no reason 
to doubt their truth. The following will serve as a 
specimen of his style, as well as of the circumstances 
which attended his childhood. "Joseph Hawkins, 


who was a brother to my mother, was in the woods 
hunting for deer. He was passing near a thicket of 
brush, in which one of our neighbors was gathering 
some grapes, as it was in the fall of the year, and the 
grape season. The body of the man was hid by the 
brush, and it was only as he would raise his hand to 
pull the bunches, that any part of him could be seen. 
It was a likely place for deer ; and my uncle, having 
no suspicion that it was any human being, but sup- 
posing the raising of the hand to be the occasional 
twitch of a deer's ear, fired at the lump, and as the 
devil would have it, unfortunately shot the man through 
the body. I saw my father draw a silk handkerchief 
through the bullet hole, and entirely through his body; 
yet, after a little while, he got well, as little as any 
one would have thought it. What became of him, or 
whether he is dead or alive, I don't know; but I 
reckon he didn't fancy the business of gathering 
grapes in an out-of-the-way thicket again." 

When David was about eight years old, his father 
settled in Jefferson county, Tennessee, and opened a 
small tavern, chiefly for wagoners. He was poor, 
and his son says, " Here I remained with him, till I 
was twelve years old. About that time, you may 
guess, if you are a yankee, and reckon, if, like me, you 
belong to the backwoods, that I began to make my 
acquaintance with hard times, and plenty of them." 

At this period, an old Dutchman, who was proceed- 
ing to Rockbridge, a distance of four hundred miles, 
stopped over night at his father's house. He had a 
large stock of cattle, and needing assistance, David 
was hired by him, and proceeded on foot the whole of 


the journey. He was expected to continue with the 
Dutchman, but his love of home mastered him, and 
taking his clothes in a bundle on his back, he stole 
away one night, and begged his way among the strag- 
gling settlements, till he reached his father's resi- 

David was now sent to school ; but at the end of 
four days he had a quarrel with one of his mates, and 
having scratched his face badly, he did not dare to go 
again. He therefore spent several days in the woods, 
during school hours, leaving his father to suppose he 
was at his lessons. When he found out, from the 
master, what David had done, he cut a hickory stick, 
and approached him in great wrath, intending to chas- 
tise him severely. The boy saw the danger, and fled. 
It was a tight race, but youth had the advantage. 
David escaped, hid himself in the woods for a time, 
and then, bidding adieu to his home, set forth upon 
his adventures. 

Passing through a great variety of conditions, he 
at last reached Baltimore, and for the first time looked 
forth upon the blue ocean and the ships that navigate 
it. He had heard of these things, but he tells us, 
that until he actually saw them, he did not in his 
heart believe in their existence. It seems that his 
first sight of the sea excited in his bosom those deep, 
yet indescribable emotions, known only to those who 
have had experience like his own. 

He set out at length to return to his father's house ; 
but, owing to a variety of causes, it was three years 
before he reached it. It was evening when he came 
to the tavern, and he concluded to ask for lodging, 


and not make himself known, till he saw how the 
land lay. He gives an account of what followed, in 
these terms : — 

" After a while, we were all called to supper : 1 
went with the rest. We sat down to the table, and 
began to eat, when my eldest sister recollected me : 
she sprung up, ran and seized me around the neck, 
and exclaimed, * Here is my lost brother!' 

" My feelings at this time it would be vain and 
foolish for me to attempt to describe. I had often 
thought I felt before, and I suppose I had ; but sure I 
am, I never had felt as I then did. The joy of my 
sisters, and my mother, and indeed of all the family, 
was such that it humbled me, and made me sorry that 
I hadn't submitted to a hundred whippings, sooner 
than cause so much affliction as they had suffered on 
my account. I found the family had never heard a 
word of me from the time my brother left me. I was 
now almost fifteen years old, and my increased age 
and size, together with the joy of my father, occa- 
sioned by my unexpected return, I was sure would 
secure me against my long-dreaded whipping ; and so 
they did. But it will be a source of astonishment to 
many, who reflect that I am now a member of the 
American Congress — the most enlightened body of 
men in the world — that at so advanced an age, the 
age of fifteen, I did not know the first letter in the 

The following passage, continuing the narrative, 
evinces sense and feeling, which are honorable to our 
hero's head and heart. " I had remained for some 
short time at home with my father, when he informed 


me that he owed a man, whose name was Abraham 
Wilson, the sum of thirty-six dollars ; and that if I 
would set in and work out the note, so as to lift it for 
him, he would discharge me from his service, and I 
might go free. I agreed to do this, and went imme- 
diately to the man who held my father's note, and 
contracted wdth him to work six inonths for it. I set 
in, and worked with all my might, not losing a single 
day in the six months. When my time was out, I 
got my father's note, and then declined working with 
the man any longer, though he wanted to hire me 
mighty had. The reason was, it was a place where 
a heap of bad company met to drink and gamble, and 
I wanted to get away from them, for I knowed very 
well if I staid there I should get a bad name, as 
nobody could be respectable that would live there. I 
therefore returned to my father, and gave him up his 
paper, which seemed to please him mightily, for, 
though he was poor, he was an honest man, and al- 
ways tried mighty hard to pay off his debts. 

" I next went to the house of an honest old Quaker, 
by the name of John Kennedy, who had removed 
from North Carolina, and proposed to hire myself to 
him, at two shillings a day. He agreed to take me a 
week on trial, at the end of which he appeared pleased 
with my work, and informed me that he held a note 
on my father for forty dollars, and that he would give 
me that note if I would work for him six months. 
I was certain enough that I should never get any 
part of the note ; but then I remembered it was my 
father that owed it, and I concluded it was my duty, 
as a child, to help him along, and ease his lot as much 


as 1 could. I told the Quaker T would take him up 
at his offer, and immediately went to work. I never 
visited my father's house during the whole of this 
engagement, though he lived only fifteen miles off. 
But when it was finished, and I had got the note, I 
borrowed one of my employer's horses, and, on a Sun- 
day evening, went to pay my parents a visit. Some 
time after I got there, I pulled out the note, and 
handed it to my father, who supposed Mr. Kennedy 
had sent it for collection. The old man looked mighty 
sorry, and said to me he had not the money to pay it, 
and did n't know what he should do. I then told him 
I had paid it for him, and it was then his own ; that 
it was not presented for collection, but as a present 
from me. At this, he shed a heap of tears ; and as 
soon as he got a little over it, he said he was sorry 
he could n't give me anything, but he was not able, 
he was too poor." 

David continued to work for the Quaker, during 
which time he became enamored of a girl in the vicin- 
ity, and when he was eighteen he engaged to marry 
her; she, however, proved faithless, and wedded 
another man. The youth took it much to heart, and 
observes, " I now began to think that in making me, 
it was entirely forgotten to make my mate ; that I 
was born odd, and should always remain so." He, 
however, recovered, and paid his addresses to a little , 
girl of the neighborhood, whom he met one day when 
he had got lost in the woods, and married her. She 
had for her marriage portion two cows and two calves ; 
and, with fifteen dollars' worth of furniture, they com- 
menced house-keeping. He rented a small farm, and 


went to work. After a few years, he removed to 
another part of the state, where there was plenty of 
game, in consequence of which he became a hunter. 
About the year 1810, he settled on Bear Creek, where 
he remained till after the war of 1812. 

During the Creek war in Tennessee, in 1812, 
Crockett served as a private soldier under General 
Jackson, and displayed no small share of enterprise 
and daring. He also served in one of the expeditions 
to Florida, meeting with a great variety of adven- 
tures. Soon after the close of the war, in 1815, he 
lost his wife, but married again, and, as he says, 
" went ahead." 

After a time, he removed, with his family, to Shoal 
Creek, where the settlers, living apart from the rest 
of the world, set up a government for themselves ; 
they established certain laws, and Crockett was elected 
one of the magistrates. The operations of this forest 
republic are thus described by our hero : — 

" When a man owed a debt, and wouldn't pay it, I 
and my constable ordered our warrant, and then he 
would take the man, and bring him before me for 
trial. I would give judgment against him, and then 
an order for an execution would easily scare the debt 
out of him. If any one was charged with marking 
his neighbor's hogs, or with stealing anything, — which 
happened pretty often in those days, — I would have 
him taken, and if there was tolerable grounds for the 
charge, I would have him well whipped, and cleared. 
"We kept this up till our legislature added us to the 
white settlements in Giles county, and appointed ma- 
gistrates by law, to organize matters in the parts where 


1 lived. The}' appointed every man a magistrate 
who had belonged to our corporation. I was then, of 
course, made a squire according to law, though now 
the honor rested more heavily on me than before. 
For, at first, whenever I told my constable, says I, — 
' Catch that fellow, and bring him up for trial,' away 
he went ; and the fellow must come, dead or alive ; 
for we considered this a good warrant, though it was 
only in verbal writings. But after [ was appointed 
by the assembly, they told me my warrants must be 
in real writing, and signed ; and that I must keep a 
book, and write my proceedings in it. This was a 
hard business on me, for I could just barely write my 
own name." 

Crockett now rose rapidly ; he was elected a colo- 
nel in the militia, and, by request of his friends, became 
a candidate for the state legislature. He made an 
electioneering tour of nearly three months, addressing 
the voters at various points. His account of this part 
of his life is full of witj and not only throws much 
light upon western manners, but suggests many keen 
and sagacious reflections upon the character and con- 
duct of political leaders, seeking the suffrages of the 
people. His success upon the stump was great, though 
he confesses he knew nothing about government, and 
dared not even touch the subject. He told droll sto- 
ries, however, which answered a better purpose, and 
in the result, was triumphantly elected. "We must 
not omit to give Crockett's own account of himself at 
this period. 

" A short time after this," says he, " I was in Pu- 
laski, where I met with Colonel Polk, now a member 


of Congress from Tennessee. He was at that time a 
member elected to the legislature, as well as myself; 
and in a large company he said to me, ' Well, Colo- 
nel, I suppose we shall have a radical change of the 
judiciary at the next session of the legislature.' 
' Very likely, sir,' says I ; and I put out quicker, for I 
was afraid some one would ask me what the judiciary 
was ; and if I knowed.^I wish I may be shot. I don't 
indeed believe I had ever before heard that there was 
any such thing in all nature ; but still I was not wil- 
ling that the people there should know how ignorant 
I was about it. When the time for meeting of the 
legislature arrived, I went on, and before I had been 
there long, I could have told what the judiciary was, 
and what the government was too ; and many other 
things that I had known nothing about before." 

Crockett now removed to the borders of the Obion, 
and settled in the woods, his nearest white neighbor 
being seven miles off. The country around gradually 
became peopled, and in the course of a few years he 
was again put in nomination, without his own consent 
or knowledge, for the legislature. His antagonist was 
Dr. Butler, a relative of General Jackson's, and, as 
Crockett describes him, " a clever fellow, and the most 
talented man I ever run against, for any office." Two 
other candidates were in the field, but David beat 
them all by a handsome majority. This occurred in 
1825. In 1S27, he was elected to Congress, and 
re-elected in 1829, by a majority of 3500 votes. No 
man could at that time stand against him, with hopes 
of success. In 1831, however, he lost his election, 
but succeeded in 1833. He was defeated in 1835, 

162 . CROCKETT. 

and, having gone to Texas, engaged In the defence 
of Bexar, and was slain in the storming of that place, 
March 6th, 1836. 

The character of David Crockett is by no means 
to be set up as a model for imitation, yet he was a 
man of excellent traits of character. Brave, hospita- 
ble, honest, patriotic, and sincere, he was the repre- 
sentative of the hardy hunters of the west — a race of 
men fjist fading away, or receding with the remote 
borders of our western settlements. Destitute of 
school education, he supplied the defect, in a great 
degree, by ready wit, and that talent which is devel- 
<jped strongly by the necessities of a hard and haz- 
ardous course of life. In civilized society, he retained 
the marks of his forest breeding, as well as the innate 
eccentricity of his character, and became conspicuous 
as one of those humorists, whom nothing can change 
from their original conformation. 


There are few names in the West better known, 
or more respected, than that of Colonel Daniel Boone. 
He is regarded as the founder of Kentucky, and in 
his character, was a good specimen of the early set- 
tler, who united in his own person the offices of 
hunter and husbandman, soldier and statesman. He 
was born in Pennsylvania, in the year 1746, and in 
his boyhood gave earnest of his future career, by his 
surpassing skill in the use of a gun, as exercised 
against squirrels, raccoons, and wild-cats. 

A love of hunting became his ruling passion, 
and he would wander, for whole days alone, through 
the woods, seeming to take great delight in these 
rambles, even if he found no game. One morning, 
when he was about fourteen years old, he was ob- 
served, as usual, to throw the band that suspended 
his shot bag, over the shoulder, and go forth, accom- 
panied by his dog. Night came, but, to the astonish- 
ment and alarm of his parents, the boy came not. 
Another day and another night passed, and still he 
did not return. The nearest neighbors, sympathizing 
with the distressed parents, who considered him lost, 
at length turned out, to aid in finding him. 

164 BOONE. 

After a long and weary search, a smoke was seen 
arising from a temporary hovel of sods and branches, 
at a distance of a league from any plantation, in which 
the astonished father found his child ; he was, appar- 
ently, most comfortably occupied in making an ex- 
periment in housekeeping. Numerous skins of wild 
animals were stretched upon his cabin, as trophies 
of his hunting prowess. Ample fragments of their 
flesh were around — either thrown aside or prepared 
for cookery. 

A few years after this, Boone removed, with his 
father, to North Carolina, where they founded a set- 
tlement upon the banks of the Yadkin. The country 
was new, and almost totally uninhabited ; the game 
was abundant, and afforded ample scope for young 
Boone's talents as a hunter. One night, he went out 
with a friend, upon what is called a fire hunt, the 
object of which was to shoot deer. In this sport, an 
iron pan, filled with blazing knots of pitch pine, is 
carried by one of the sportsmen. This casts a ruddy 
glare deep into the forest ; and the deer, as if bound 
by a spell of enchantment, stands still, and gazes at 
the unwonted apparition. The lustrous eye of the 
animal is easily seen by the hunter, and thus becomes 
a mark for the rifle. 

On the present occasion, the two hunters had 
reached the corner of a farmer's field early in the 
evening, when Boone's companion, who held the fire 
pan, gave the signal that he shined the eyes of a deer. 
Boone approached with his ready rifle, and, perceiv- 
ing the glistening eyes, was about to fire, when the 
deer suddenly retreated. He pursued, and, after a 

BOONE. " 165 

rapid chase through the woods, came suddenly out at 
the farmer's house. What was the young hunter's 
astonishment then to discover that the object upon 
which he had levelled his rifle a few minutes before, 
was a beautiful girl of sixteen, and the daughter of 
the farmer ! Boone could do no less than enter the 
house. The scene that followed is thus described by 
the biographer : 

" The ruddy, flaxen-haired girl stood full in view 
of her terrible pursuer, leaning upon his rifle, and 
surveying her with the most eager admiration. ' Re- 
becca, this is young Boone, son of our neighbor,' was 
the laconic introduction, offered by the father. Both 
were young, beautiful, and at the period when the 
affections exercise their most energetic influence. The 
circumstances of the introduction were favorable to 
the result, and the young hunter felt that the e3^es of 
the deer had shined his bosom as fatally as his rifle- 
shot had ever done the innocent deer of the thickets. 

" She, too, when she saw the high, open, bold fore- 
head — the clear, keen, yet gentle and affectionate 
eye — the firm front, and the visible impress of deci- 
sion and fearlessness of the hunter ; when she inter- 
preted a look, which said, as distinctly as looks could 
say it, ' how terrible it would have been to have fired ! ' 
she can hardly be supposed to have regarded him 
with indifference. Nor can it be wondered at that 
she saw in him her beau ideal of excellence and 

" The inhabitants of cities, who live in splendid 
mansions, and read novels stored with unreal pic- 
tures of life and the heart, are apt to imagine that 

166 BOONE. 

love, with all its golden illusions, is reserved exclu- 
sively for them. It is a most egregious mistake. A 
model of ideal beauty and perfection is woven in 
almost every youthful heart, of the finest and most 
brilliant threads that compose the web of existence. 
It may not be said that this forest maiden was deeply 
and foolishly smitten at first sight. All reasonable 
time and space were granted to the claims of maidenly 
modesty. As for Boone, he was incurably wounded 
by her, whose eyes he had shined, and as he was 
remarkable for the backwoods' attribute of never being 
beaten out of his track, he ceased not to woo, until 
he gained the heart of Kebecca Bryan. In a word, 
he courted her successfully, and they were married." 

Boone removed with his wife to the head waters 
of the Yadkin, where he remained for several years, 
engaged in the quiet pursuits of a husbandman. But 
in process of time, the country was settled around 
him, and the restraints of orderly society became 
established. These were disagreeable to his love of 
unbounded liberty, and he began to think of seeking 
a new home in the yet unoccupied wilderness. Hav- 
ing heard an account of Kentucky from a man by 
the name of Finley, who had made an expedition 
thither, he determined to explore the country. Ac- 
cordingly, in 1769, he set out with four associates, 
and soon, bidding adieu to the habitations of man, 
plunged into the boundless forest. 

They ascended and crossed the Alleganies, and at 
last stood on the western summit of the Cumberland 
Ridge. What a scene opened before them ! — the 
illimitable forest, as yet unbroken by civilized man, 

BOONE. 167 

and occupied only by savage beasts and more savage 
men. Yet it bore the marks of the highest fertility. 
Trees of every form, and touched with every shade of 
verdure, rose to an unwonted height on every side. 
In the distance, broad rivers flashed beneath the sun. 
How little did these hunters imagine that this noble 
country, within the compass of fifty years, was to be 
dotted with villages, and crowned with cities ! 

The party proceeded in their march. They met 
with an abundance of every species of game. The 
buffalo occupied the plains by thousands ; and on one 
occasion, the whole party came near being crushed 
by a herd of these animals, that came rushing like a 
torrent across a prairie. 

They spent the summer in the woods, and in De- 
cember divided themselves into two parties, for the 
purpose of extending their means of observation. 
Boone and Stewart formed one division of the party. 
As they proceeded toward the Kentucky river, they 
were never out of sight of buffaloes, deer and wild 
turkeys. While they were one day leisurely descend- 
ing a hill, the Indian yell suddenly broke upon their 
ears ; a moment after, they were surrounded by sav- 
ages, who sprung up from the cane-brakes around, 
and made them captives. Their hands were bound, 
and they were compelled to march, a long distance, 
to the Indian camp. On the second night, they 
escaped, and returned to the place where they expected 
to meet their former companions. These, it appears, 
had returned to Kentucky. That very day, however, 
Boone's brother arrived with a single companion, 

168 BOONE. 

having made his way through the trackless forest, 
from his residence on the Yadkin. 

The four adventurers now devoted themselves to 
hunting ; but, one day, while they were out, Boone 
and Stewart, being separated from their companions, 
were attacked by Indians, and the latter was shot 
dead by an arrow. Boone, with some difficulty, es- 
caped to the camp. A short time after this, the com- 
panion of the elder Boone wandered into the woods, 
and was lost. The two brothers sought for him with 
anxious care, and at last found traces of blood and 
fragments of his clothes in the vicinity of a place 
where they had heard the howling of wolves. There 
was little doubt that he had fallen a sacrifice to these 
terrible animals. Boone and his brother were now 
the only white men west of the mountains, yet their 
spirits were not damped by their condition or by the 
sad fate which had befallen their companions. They 
hunted by day; cooked their game, sat by their bright 
fires and sung the airs of their country at night. 
They also devoted much of their time to the prepa- 
ration of a cabin for the approaching winter. 

This came at length and passed away; but they 
were now in want of many things, especially amm^u- 
nition, which was beginning to fail them. After long 
consultation, it was agreed that the elder Boone 
should return to North Carolina, and bring back am- 
munition, horses, and supplies. 

The character of Daniel Boone, in consenting to 
be left alone in the wilderness, surrounded by perils 
from the Indians and wild beasts, of which he had so 
recently and terribly been made aware, appears in its 

BOONE. 169 

true light. We have heard of a Robinson Crusoe, 
made so by the necessities of shipwreck ; but all his- 
tory can scarcely furnish another instance of a man, 
voluntarily consenting to be left alone among savages 
and wild beasts, seven hundred miles from the nearest 
white inhabitants. 

The separation at last came. The elder brother 
disappeared in the forest, and Daniel Boone was left 
in the cabin, entirely alone. Their only dog followed 
the departing brother, and our hunter had nothing but 
his unconquerable spirit to sustain him during the 
long and lonely days and nights, visited by the re- 
membrance of his distant wife and children. 

To prevent the recurrence of dark and lonely 
thoughts, soon after his brother's departure, Boone 
set out on a tour of observation, and made an excur- 
sion to the Ohio river. He returned at last to his 
camp, which he found undisturbed. From this point 
he continued to mjike trips into the woods, in which 
he met with a variety of adventures. It was in May 
that his brother left him, and late in July he returned, 
with two horses and an abundant supply of needful 
articles. He brought also the welcome intelligence of 
the welfare of his brother's family and their kind 
remembrance of him. 

The two brothers now set about selecting a situa- 
tion for a settlement, where they intended to bring 
their families. One day, as they were passing 
through tlie woods, they saw a herd of buffaloes in 
great uproar. They were running, plunging, and 
bellowing, as if roused to fury. The hunters ap- 
proached the throng, and perceived that a panther 

170 EOONE. 

had leaped upon the back of one of these huge ani- 
mals, and was gnawing away the flesh. The bufl^alo, 
maddened by the agon}^ dashed among the herd, and 
these were soon thrown into wild confusion. Boone 
picked his flint, took a deliberate aim, and fired ; the 
panther fell from his seat, and the herd passed on. 

We cannot pursue the history of our hero, in all 
its adventurous details. We have told enough to 
display the leading traits of his character, and we 
must now hasten on, only noting the principal events. 
He returned with his brother to North Carolina, and 
in September, 1773, commenced his removal to Ken- 
tucky, with his own family and five others, for the 
purpose of settling there. They were joined by forty 
men, who placed themselves under Boone's guidance. 
On their route they were attacked by the Indians ; six 
of the men were killed, and the cattle were dispersed. 
The emigrants, therefore, returned as far as Clinch 
river, where they made a temporary settlement. 

In 1775, Boone assisted in building a fort at a 
place which was called Boonesburgh, and when com- 
pleted, he removed his family thither. Two years 
after, he here sustained two formidable sieges from 
the Indians, whom he repulsed. In the following year 
he was taken while hunting, by the savages, and 
carried to Detroit. He escaped, and at last returned 
to his family. Again the fort was invested by the 
Indians and Canadian Frenchmen, four hundred and 
fifty strong. Boone, with fifty men, held out, and 
finally the assailants withdrew. This was the last 
attack upon Boonesburgh. 

In 1792, Kentucky was admitted into the Union as 

BOONE. 171 

a state, and soon after, Boone, being involved in one 
of the innumerable law-suits which were about this 
time inflicted upon Kentucky, was deprived of his 
whole estate by an adverse decision. The indigna- 
tion of the old hunter, at first, knew no bounds ; but 
his tranquillity soon returned. He was, however, 
thoroughly disgusted Avith civilized society, and 
determined again, though gray with years, to find a 
home in the unbroken forest. 

In 1798, having obtained a grant of two thousand 
acres of land from the Spanish authorities in upper 
Louisiana, now Missouri, he removed thither with 
his family, and settled at Charette. Here he devoted 
himself to his familiar pursuits of hunting and trap- 
ping, and in September, 1822, he died, being in his 
eighty-fifth year. 


Charles XII. was l)orn on the 27th June, 1682. 
He was the son of Charles XL, a harsh and despotic 
prince. From his earliest years, he glowed to imi- 
tate the heroic character of Alexander, and, in his 
eagerness to reign, caused himself to be declared king 
of Sweden at the age of fifteen. At his coronation, 
he boldly seized the crown from the hands of the arch- 
bishop of Upsal, and set it on his own head. 

His youth seemed to invite the attacks of his 
neighbors, of Poland, Denmark and Russia; but 
Charles, unawed by the prospect of hostilities, and 
though scarcely eighteen, determined to assail his 
enemies, one after the other. He besieged Copen- 
hagen, and, by his vigorous measures, so terrified the 
Danish monarch, that, in less than six weeks, he 
obliged him to sue for peace. 

From humbled Denmark, he marched against the 
Russians ; and though at the head of only eight 
thousand men, he attacked the enemy who were be- 
sieging Narva with one hundred thousand men. The 
conflict was dreadful ; thirty thousand were slain, 
twenty thousand asked for quarter, and the rest were 



taken or destroyed ; while the Swedes had only twelve 
hundred killed, and eight hundred wounded. From 
Narva, the victorious monarch advanced into Poland, 
defeated the Saxons who opposed his march, and 
obliged the Polish king, in suing for peace, to re- 
nounce his crown and acknowledge Stanislaus for his 

It was a disgraceful condition of the treaty made 
with Augustus that he should give up Reinhold Pat- 
kul, a Polish nobleman, to the Swedish king. This 
patriot had nobly defended the liberties of his country 
against its enemies, and to escape the consequences, 
when Poland had fallen, went to Russia, and entered 
into the service of the Czar. Peter sent him as am- 
bassador to Poland, and Augustus delivered him up 
to Charles. He was taken to Stockholm, tried as a 
rebel and traitor, and broke on the wheel. Such was 
the justice, such the mercy, of the chivalrous Charles 

Fixing his head quarters near Leipsic, with a vic- 
torious army of fifty thousand veteran Swedes, he 
now attracted the attention of all Europe. He re- 
ceived ambassadors from the principal powers, and 
even the Duke of Marlborough paid him a visit to 
induce him to join the allies against Louis XIV. 
But Charles had other views, which were to dethrone 
his rival, Peter of Russia. Accordingly, after adjust- 
ing various matters, he proceeded to the north, with 
forty-three thousand men, in September, 1707. 

In January, he defeated the Russians in Lithuania, 
and in June, 1708, met Peter on the banks of the 
Berezina. The Swedes crossed the river, and the 


Russians fled. Charles pursued them as far as Smo- 
lensk ; but in September he began to experience the 
real difficulties of a Russian campaign. The country- 
was desolate, the roads wretched, the winter approach- 
ing, and the army had hardly provisions for a fort- 
night. Charles, therefore, abandoned his plan of 
marching upon Moscow, and turned to the south 
towards the Ukraine, where Mazeppa, hetman or 
chief of the Cossacks, had agreed to join him against 

Charles advanced towards the river Desna, an afflu- 
ent of the Dnieper, which it joins near Kiew ; but he 
missed his way among the extensive marshes which 
cover a great part of the country, and in which 
almost all his artillery and wagons were lost. Mean- 
time, the Russians had dispersed Mazeppa's Cossacks, 
and Mazeppa himself came to join Charles as a fugi- 
tive with a small body of followers. Lowenhaupt, 
also, who was coming from Poland with fifteen thou- 
sand men, was defeated by Peter in person. 

Charles thus found himself in the wilds of the 
Ukraine, hemmed in by the Russians, without pro- 
visions, and the winter setting in with unusual sever- 
ity. His army, thinned by cold, hunger, fatigue and 
the sword, was now reduced to twenty-four thousand 
men. In this condition, he passed the winter in the 
Ukraine, his army subsisting chiefly by the exertions 
of Mazeppa. In the spring, with eighteen thousand 
Swedes and as many Cossacks, he laid siege to the 
town of Pultowa, where the Russians had collected 
large stores. During the siege, he was severely 
wounded in the foot ; and soon after, Peter himself 


appeared to relieve Pultowa, at the head of seventy- 
thousand men. Charles had now no choice but to 
risk a general battle, which was fought on the 8th of 
July, 1709, and ended in the total defeat of the 

At the close of the battle, Charles was placed on 
horseback, and, attended by about five hundretl horse, 
who cut their way through more than ten Kussian 
regiments, was conducted, for the space of a league, to 
the baggage of the Swedish army. In the flight, the 
king's horse was killed under him, and he was placed 
upon another. They selected a ccach from the bag- 
gage, put Charles in it, and fled tOAvards the Borys- 
thenes with the utmost precipitation. He was silent 
for a time, but, at last, made some inquiries. Being 
informed of the fatal result of the battle, he said, 
cheerfully, " Come then, let us go to the Turks." 

While he was making his escape, the Russians 
seized his artillery in the camp before Pultowa, his 
baggage and his military chest, in which they found 
six millions in specie, the spoils of Poland and Sax- 
ony. Nine thousand men, partly Swedes and partly 
Cossacks, were killed in the battle, and about six 
thousand were taken prisoners. There still remained 
about sixteen thousand men, including the Swedes, 
Poles and Cossacks, who fled towards the Borysthenes, 
under conduct of General Lowenhaupt. 

He marched one way with his fugitive troops, and 
the king took another with some of his horse. The 
coach in which he rode broke down by the way, and 
they again set him on horseback. To complete his 
misfortune, he was separated from his troops and 


wandered all night in the woods ; here, his courage 
being no longer able to support his exhausted spirits, 
the pain of his wound became more intolerable from 
fatigue, and his horse falling under him through ex- 
cessive weariness, he lay some hours, at the foot of a 
tree, in danger of being surprised every moment by 
the conC[uerors, who were searching for him on every 

At last, on the 10th July, at night, Charles reached 
the banks of the Borysthenes. Lowenhaupt had just 
arrived with the shattered remains of his army. It 
was with a mixture of joy and sorrow that the Swedes 
beheld their king, whom they had supposed dead. 
The victorious enemy was now approaching. The 
Swedes had neither a bridge to pass the river, nor 
time to make one, nor powder to defend themselves, 
nor provisions to support an army which had eaten 
nothing for two days. But more than all this, Charles 
was reduced to a state of extreme weakness by his 
wound, and was no longer himself. They carried 
him along like a sick person, in a state of insensibil- 

Happily there was at hand a sorry calash, which by 
chance the Swedes had brought along with them ; this 
they put on board a little boat, and the king and Gene- 
ral Mazeppa embarked in another. The latter had 
saved several coffers of money ; but the current being 
rapid, and a violent wind beginning to blow, the Cos- 
sacks threw more than three fourths of his treasure 
overboard to lighten the boat. Thus the king crossed 
the river, together with a small troop of horse, belong- 
ing to his guards, who succeeded in swimming the 


river. Every foot soldier who attempted to cross the 
stream was drowned. 

Guided by the dead carcasses of the Swedes, that 
thickly strewed their path, a detachment of the Rus- 
sian army came upon the fugitives. Some of the 
Swedes, reduced to despair, threw themselves into 
the river, while, others took their own lives. The 
remainder capitulated, and were made slaves. Thou- 
sands of them were dispersed over Siberia, and never 
again returned to their country. In this barbarous 
region, rendered ingenious through necessity, they 
exercised trades and employments, of which they had 
not before the least idea. 

All the distinctions which fortune had formerly es- 
tablished between them before, were now banished. 
The officer, who could not follow any trade, was obliged 
to cleave and carry wood for the soldier, now turned 
tailor, clothier, joiner, mason, or goldsmith, and who 
got a subsistence by his labors. Some of the officers 
became painters, and others architects ; some of them 
taught the languages and mathematics. They even 
established some public schools, which in time became 
so useful and famous, that the citizens of Moscow 
sent their children thither for education. 

The Swedish army, which had left Saxony in such 
a triumphant manner, was now no more. Three 
fourths had perished in battle, or by starvation, and 
the rest were slaves. Charles XII. had lost the fruit 
of nine years' labor, and almost one hundred battles. 
He had escaped in a wretched calash, attended by a 
small troop. These followed, some on foot, some on 
horseback, and others in wagons, through a desert, 



where neither huts, tents, men, beasts, nor roads were 
to be seen. Everything was wanting, even water 

It was now the beginning of July ; the country lay 
in the forty-seventh degree of latitude ; the dry sand 
of the desert rendered the heat of the sun the more 
insupportable; the horses fell by the way, and the 
men were ready to die with thirst. A brook of mud- 
dy water, which they found towards evening, was all 
they met with ; they filled some bottles with this 
water, which saved the lives of the king's troops. 

Triumphing over incredible difficulties, Charles and 
his little guard at last reached Benda, in the Turkish 
territory. He was hospitably received by the gover- 
nor; and the sultan, Achmet III., gave orders that 
he should have entertainm.ent and protection. He 
now attempted to induce the sultan to engage in his 
cause, but the Russian agents at the Turkish court 
produced an impression against him, and orders were 
sent to the governor of Benda, to compel the king to 
depart, and in case he refused, to bring him, living or 
dead, to Adrianople. 

Little used to obey, Charles determined to resist. 
Having but two or three hundred men, he still dis- 
posed them in the best manner he could, and when 
attacked by the whole force of the Turkish army, he 
only yielded step by step. His house at last took fire, 
yet the king and his soldiers still resisted. When, 
involved in flames and smoke, he was about to aban- 
don it, his spurs became entangled, and he fell and 
was taken prisoner. His eyelashes were singed by 
powder and his clothes were covered with blood. He 


was now removed to Demotica, near Adrianople. 
Here he spent two months in bed, feigning sickness, 
and employed in reading and writing. 

Convinced, at last, that he could expect no assist- 
ance from the Porte, he set off, in disguise, with two 
officers. Accustomed to every deprivation, he pur- 
sued his journey on horseback, through Hungary and 
Germany, day and night, with such haste, that only 
one of his attendants was able to keep up with him. 
Exhausted and haggard, he arrived before Stralsund, 
about one o'clock, on the night of the 11th Novem- 
ber, 1714. 

Pretending to be a courier with important despatch- 
es from Turkey, he caused himself to be immediately 
introduced to the commandant. Count Dunker, who 
questioned him concerning the king, without recog- 
nising him till he began to speak, when he sprang, 
joyfully from his bed, and embraced the knees of his 
master. The report of Charles' arrival spread rap- 
idly through the city. The houses were illumi- 
nated, and every demonstration of joy was exhibited. 

A combined army of Danes, Saxons, Russians and 
Prussians now invested Stralsund. Charles per- 
formed miracles of bravery in its defence, but was 
obliged, at last, to surrender the fortress. Various 
events now took place, and negotiations were entered 
into for pacification with Russia. In the mean time, 
Charles had laid siege to Friedrichshall, in Norway. 
On the 3d of November, 1718, while in the trenches, 
and leaning against the parapet, examining the work- 
men, he was struck on the head by a cannon ball, and 
instantly killed. He was found dead in the same 


position, his hand on his sword; in his pocket were the 
portrait of Gustavus Adolphus, and a prayer-book. 
It is probable that the fatal ball was fired, not from 
the hostile fortress, but from the Swedish side ; his 
adjutant, Siguier, has been accused as an accomplice 
in his murder. 

The life of Charles XII. presents a series of mar- 
vellous events, yet his character inspires us with little 
respect or sympathy. He aspired only to be a mili- 
tary hero, and to reign by the power of his arms. He 
had the bravery, perseverance, and decision suited to 
the soldier, and that utter selfishness, and reckless- 
ness of human life and happiness, which are neces- 
sary ingredients in the character of a mere warrior. 
His cheerfulness in adversity, and his patient endur- 
ance of pain and privation, were counterbalanced by 
obstinacy, amounting almost to insanity. Charles 
had, indeed, the power of attaching friends strongly 
to his person ; and there is something almost sublime 
in the utter disregard of comfort, pleasure, and even 
life, displayed by his soldiers and officers, in their 
care of his person, and their obedience to his com- 
mands. Yet, however elevating may be the senti- 
ment of loyalty, we cannot feel that, in the present 
instance, it was bestowed upon a worthy object. 


This celebrated hero of Spanish history has been 
for more than eight centuries the theme of eulogy 
and song, and doubtless his wonderful achievements 
and romantic fame have contributed to kindle an emu- 
lous flame in many a youthful bosom, and to stir up 
even a nation to the resistance of oppression. It is 
by no means improbable that many of the deeds of 
valor and patriotic devotion witnessed during the 
invasion of Spain by Napoleon's armies, had their 
source in the name and fame of the Cid. In one of 
the numerous ballads which recount his history, and 
which are among the popular poetry of Spain to this 
day, he is addressed in the following vigorous lines : — 

" Mighty victor, never vanquished, 

Bulwark of our native land, 
Shield of Spain, her boast and glory, 

Knight of the far-dreaded brand, 
Venging scourge of Moors and traitors, 

Mighty thunderbolt of war, 
Mirror bright of chivalry, 

Ruy, my Cid Campeador ! " 

This chivalrous knight w^as born at Burgos, in the 
year 1025. His name was Rodrigo, or Ruy Diaz, 
Count of Bivar. He was called the Cid, which means 
lord; andthenameof Cawj^ea^or, or champion with- 


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out an equal, was appropriated as his peculiar title. 
At this period, the greater part of the Peninsula was in 
the hands of the Arabs or Moors, who had invaded 
them three centuries before. The few Goths who had 
remained unconquered among the mountains, main- 
tained a constant warfare upon the infidels, and by 
the time of which we speak, they had recovered a 
large portion of the country lying in the northvv^estern 
quarter. This territory was divided into several petty 
kingdoms, or counties, the principal of which, at the 
time of our hero's birth, were united under Ferdinand 
I., the founder of the kingdom of Castile. The rest 
of the Peninsula, subject to the Arabs, was also divi- 
ded into petty kingdoms. 

The father of Rodrigo, Don Diego Lainez, was the 
representative of an ancient, wealthy, and noble race. 
Wlien our hero was a mere stripling, his father was 
grossly insulted by the haughty and powerful Count 
of Gormaz, Don Lozano Gomez, who smote him in 
the face, in the very presence of the king and court. 
The dejection of the worthy hidalgo, who was very 
aged, and therefore incapable of taking personal ven- 
geance for his wrong, is thus strongly depicted in one 
of the ballads : — 

"Sleep was banished from his eyelids ; 
Not a mouthful could he taste ; 
There he sat with downcast visage, — 
Direly had he been disgraced. 

Never stirred he from his chamber ; 

With no friends would he converse, 
Lest the breath of his dishonor 

Should pollute them with its curse." 


THE cm. 

When young Rodrigo, the son, was informed of 
the indignity offered to his father, he was greatly 
incensed, and determined to avenge it. He accord- 
ingly took down an old sword, which had been the 
instrument of mighty deeds in the hands of his ances- 
tors, and, mounting a horse, proceeded to challenge 
the haughty Count Gomez, in the following terms : — 

" How durst thou to smite my father? 
Craven caitiff! know that none 
Unto him shall do dishonor, 
While I live, save God alone. 

For this wrong, I must have vengeance,— 

Traitor, here I thee defy ! 
With thy blood alone my sire 

Can wash out his infamy ! " 

The count despised his youth, and refused his 
challenge ; but the boy set bravely upon him, and, 
after a fierce conflict, was victorious. He bore the 
bleeding head of his antagonist to his father, who 
greeted him with rapture. His fame was soon spread 
abroad, and he was reckoned among the bravest 
squires of the time. 

But now there appeared before king Ferdinand 
and the court of Burgos the lovely Ximena, daugh- 
ter of the Count Gomez, demanding vengeance of the 
sovereign for the death of her father. She fell on 
her knees at the king's feet, crying for justice. 

" Justice, king ! I sue for justice — 
Vengeance on a traitorous knight; 
Grant it me ! so shall thy children 
Thrive, and prove thy soul's delight." 

When she had spoken these words, her eye fell on 

THE CID. 183 

Rodrigo, who stood among the attendant nobles, and 
she exclaimed, — 

" Thou hast slain the best and bravest 
That e'er set a lance in rest, 
Of our holy faith the bulwark, — 
Terror of each Paynim breast. 

Traitorous murderer, slay me also ! 

Though a woman, slaughter me ! 
Spare not ! I 'm Ximena Gomez, 

Thine eternal enemy ! 

Here 's my heart, — smite, I beseech thee ! 

Smite ! and fatal be thy blow ! 
Death is all I ask, thou caitiff, — 

Grant this boon unto thy foe." 

Not a word, however, did Rodrigo reply, but, seiz- 
ing the bridle of his steed, he vaulted into the saddle, 
and rode slowly away. Ximena turned to the crowd 
of nobles,- and seeing that none prepared to follow him 
and take up her cause, she cried aloud, " Vengeance, 
sirs, I pray you vengeance ! " A second time did the 
damsel disturb the king, when at a banquet, with her 
cries for justice. She had now a fresh complaint. 

''Every day at early morning. 
To despite me more, I wist, 
He who slew my sire doth ride by, 
With a falcon on his fist. 

At my tender dove he flies it ; 

Many of them hath it slain. 
See, their blood hath dyed my garments, 

With full many a crimson stain." 

Rodrigo, however, was not punished, and the king 
suspected that this conduct of the young count was 
only typical of his purpose to hawk at the lady him- 

186 THE CID. 

self, and make her the captive of love. He was 
therefore left to pursue his career ; and he soon per- 
formed an achievement vv'hich greatly increased his 
fame. Five Moorish chiefs or kings, and their atten- 
dants, had made a foray into the Castilian territories, 
and, being unresisted, were bearing off immense booty 
and many captives. Rodrigo, though still a youth 
under twenty, mounted his horse, Babieca, as famous 
in his story as is Bucephalus in that of Alexander, 
hastily gathered a host of armed men, and fell sud- 
denly upon the Moors, among the mountains of Oca. 
He routed them with great slaughter, captured the 
five kings, and recovered all that they had taken. 

The spoil he divided among his followers, but re- 
served the kings for his own share, and carried them 
home to his castle of Bivar, to present them, as proofs 
of his prowess, to his mother. With his characteris- 
tic generosity, which was conspicuous even at this 
early age, he then set them at liberty, on their agree- 
ing to pay him tribute ; and they departed to their 
respective territories, lauding his valor and magna- 

The fame of this exploit soon spread far and wide, 
through the land, and as martial valor in those chiv- 
alrous times was the surest passport to ladies' favor, 
it must have had its due effect on Ximena's mind, 
and will, in a great measure, account for the entire 
change in her sentiments towards the youth, which 
she manifested on another visit to Burgos. Falling 
on her knees before the king, she spoke thus : — 

"I am daughter of Don Gomez, 
Count of Gormaz was he hight; 

THE CID. 187 

Him Rodrigo by his valor 
Did o'erthrow in mortal fight. 

King ! I come to crave a favor — 
This the boon for which I pray, 

That thou give me this Rodrigo 
For my wedded lord this day. 

Grant this precious boon, I pray thee j 

'T is a duty thou dost owe ; 
For the great God hath commanded 

That we should forgive a foe." 

There is a touch of nature in all this, that is quite 
amusing : while the lady's anger burns, she cries for 
justice ; when love has taken possession of her heart, 
she appeals to religion to enforce her wishes. " Now 
I see," said the king, " how true it is, what I have 
often heard, that the will of woman is wild and strange. 
Hitherto this damsel hath sought deadly vengeance 
on the youth, and now she would have him to hus- 
band. Howbeit, with right good will I will grant 
what she desireth." 

He sent at once for Rodrigo, who, with a train of 
three hundred young nobles, his friends and kinsmen, 
all arrayed in new armor and robes of brilliant color, 
obeyed with all speed the royal summons. The king 
rode forth to meet him, " for right well did he love 
Rodrigo," and opened the matter to him, promising 
him great honors and much land if he would make 
Ximena his bride. Rodrigo, who desired nothing 
better, and who doubtless had hoped for this issue, at 
once acquiesced. 

'• King and lord ! right well it pleaseth 
Me thy wishes to fulfil : 

188 THE CID. 

In this thing, as in all others, 
I obey thy sovereign will." 

The young pair then plighted their troth in pres- 
ence of the king, and in pledge thereof gave him 
their hands. He kept his promise, and gave Rodrigo 
Valduerna, Saldana, Belforado, and San Pedro de 
Cardena, for a marriage portion. 

Tie wedding was attended by vast pomp and great 
festivities. Rodrigo, sumptuously attired, went wnth 
a long procession to the church. After a while, Xi- 
mena came, with a veil over her head and her hair 
dressed in large plaits, hanging over her ears. She 
wore an embroidered gown of fine London cloth, and 
a close-fitting spencer. She walked on high-heeled 
clogs of red leather. A necklace of eight medals or 
plates of gold, with a small pendent image of St. 
Michael, which together were " worth a city," encir- 
cled her white neck. 

The happy pair met, seized each other's hands, and 
embraced. Then said Rodrigo, with great emotion, 
as he gazed on his bride, — 

'' I did slay thy sire, Ximena, 

But, God wot, not traitorously ; 
'T was in open fight I slew him : 
Sorely had he wronged me. 

A man I slew, — a man I give thee, — 

Here I stand thy will to bide ! 
Thou, in place of a dead father. 

Hast a husband at thy side." 
All approved well his prudence. 

And extolled him with zeal ; 
Thus they celebrate the nuptials 

Of Rodrigo of Castile. 

THE CID. 189 

We cannot attend this renowned hero through his 
long and brilliant career. We must be content to say, 
that on all occasions he displayed every noble and 
heroic quality. His life was an almost perpetual 
strife with the Moors, whom he defeated in many 
combats. Having collected a considerable force, on 
one occasion, he penetrated to the southeastern ex- 
tremity of Arragon, and established himself in a strong 
castle, still called the Rock of the Cid. He after- 
wards pushed his victories to the borders of the Med- 
iterranean, and laid siege to the rich and powerful 
Moorish city of Valencia, which he captured. Here 
he established his kingdom, and continued to reign 
till his death, about the year 1099, at the age of sev- 

While the Cid was living, his reputation was suffi- 
cient to keep the Moors in awe ; but when he was 
dead, their courage revived, and they boldly attacked 
the Spaniards, even in Valencia, the city where his 
remains were laid. The Spaniards went forth to 
meet them; and behold, a warrior, with the well 
known dress of the Cid, but with the aspect of death, 
was at their head. The Moors recognised his fea- 
tures, and they fled in superstitious horror, fancying 
that a miracle had been performed in behalf of the 
Spaniards. The truth was, however, that the latter 
had taken him from the tomb, set him on his war- 
horse, and thus, even after his death, he achieved a 
victory over his foes. This incident sufficiently attests 
the wonderful power which the Cid's name exerted, 
as well over his countrymen as their enemies. 

The Spaniards have an immense number of bal- 



lads and romances, founded upon the life of this won- 
derful hero. They all depict him as a noble and 
high-minded chief, without fear and without reproach, 
the very beau ideal of a knight of the olden time. 
Some of these ballads are finely rendered into English 
by Mr. Lockhart, and they have been published in a 
style of unsurpassed beauty and splendor. 


It may seem strange that an outlaw, a thief and a 
robber, should be a favorite theme of song and of 
story, and continue to command the respect of man- 
kind for centuries after the period of his existence : 
yet such is the fact in respect to the subject of the 
present sketch. He was born at Lockslay, near Not- 
tingham, about the year 1150, and flourished during 
the time of Richard I. of England. 

Nearly a century before this, William of Normandy 
had conquered England, and established the Norman 
sway in that realm. The great estates passed into the 
hands of French chiefs and barons ; and while nearly 
all the higher ranks of society, at the period of which 
we speak, were French, the other classes consisted 
of native Saxons. Between these distinct races and 
orders, a natural jealousy existed, which was in no 
small degree cherished by the laws and policy of the 
government, which tended at once to oppress the peo- 
ple and extend the privileges of the nobles. 

The game laws, which punished those who should 
kill game in the royal forests, by putting out the eyes, 
and other mutilations, excited the deepest indignation. 
The yeomanry of the country were, at this time, uni- 
versally trained in the use of the bow, and, notwith- 


Standing the severity of the laws, those living around 
the king's parks frequently shot the game. These 
persons were so numerous, that they finally associated 
together in considerable bands, for mutual protection. 
Many of them devoted themselves entirely to robbing 
the parks, and became not only skilful in the use of 
the bow, but familiar with the recesses and hiding- 
places of the forests, and expert in every device, either 
for plunder, concealment, or escape. 

Of all the leaders of these several bands, Robin 
Hood became the most famous ; for he was not only 
bold and skilful in forest craft, but he appears to have 
been guided by noble and patriotic ser^timents. Ac- 
cording to one of the many ballads which set forth 
his adventures, he displayed his courage and dexter- 
ity at a very early age. 

" Robin Hood would into Nottingham go, 
When the summer days were fine, 
And there he saw fifteen foresters bold, 
A drinking good ale and wine. 

'What news ? what news ? ' said bold Robin Hood, 

' The news I fain would know ; 
If our king hath ordered a shooting match, 

I am ready with my bow.' " 

The foresters stared at him, and said, " We hold it 
a scorn for one so young, presuming to bear a bow, 
who is not able to draw a string." "I'll hold 3^ou 
twenty marks," said Robin, " that I will hit a mark a 
hundred rods off, and cause a hart to die." " We 
hold you twenty marks, by our lady's leave," replied 
the foresters, " that you neither hit the mark at that 
distance, nor kill a hart." 


"Then Robin Hood bent his noble bow, 
And a broad arrow he let fly ; 
He hit the mark a hundred rod, 
And he caused a hart to die. 

The hart did skip, and the hart did leap, 

And the hart lay on the ground ; 
' The wager is mine,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' An' 't were for a thousand pounds.' " 

The foresters laughed, and taunted the proud 
archer, and also refused to pay the twenty marks, 
and advised him to be gone, lest blows should follow. 
He picked up his arrows and his bow, and was ob- 
served to smile as he retired from these discourteous 
churls. When at some distance, he paused, — 

" Then Robin he bent his noble bow. 
And broad arrows he let flye ; 
Till fourteen of these fifteen foresters 
Upon the ground did lye." 

Sherwood forest, near Nottingham, was the chief 
theatre of Robin Hood's achievements. At one time 
he had no less than a hundred archers at his com- 
mand, a gallant woodsman, by the name of Little John, 
being his particular friend and favorite. There was 
also among the merry crew, a mock friar, by the name 
of Tuck, who appears to have been full of mirth and 

Robin's orders to his men were, always to spare 
the common people ; to aid and assist the weak ; to 
be scrupulous never to injure or insult a woman ; to 
be the friend of the poor, the timid, and the oppressed ; 
but to plunder fat bishops, lazy friars, purse-proud 
squires, and haughty barons. His system was, to 



take from the rich, and give to the poor ; and while 
he ever observed this rule himself, he enforced it rig- 
orously among all his followers. His history is full 
of details in which he illustrates these principles. 

Robin became so notorious at last, that a price was 
offered for his apprehension, and several attempts 
were made to deliver him up ; but his courage and 
dexterity, or his faithful friends, always saved him. 
One of the old ballads relates an adventure with a 
stout tinker, who, among others, sought to capture the 
redoubted outlaw. According to this story, Robin 
met him in the greenwood, and bade him good mor- 
row ; adding, " pray where live ye, and what is your 
trade ? I hear there are sad news stirring." " Aye, 
indeed ! " answered the other ; " I am a tinker, and 
live at Banbury, and the news of which you speak 
have not reached me." 

" ' As for the news,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' It is but, as I hear, 
Two tinkers were set in the stocks, 
For drinking ale and beer.' 

' If that be all,' the tinker said, 

' As I may say to you, 
Your tidings are not worth a groat, 

So be they were all true.' " 

" Well," said Robin, " I love ale and beer when 
they are good, with all my heart, and so the fault of 
thy brethren is small : but I have told all my news ; 
now tell me thine." 

" ' All the news I have,' the tinker said, 
' And they are news for good ; 
It is to seek the bold outlaw. 
Whom men call Robin Hood. 


I have a warrant from the king, 

To take him where I can, 
And if you can tell me where he dwells. 

I will make of yoa a man.' " 

" That I can readily do," replied the outlaw ; ** let 
me look at the warrant." " Nay, nay," said the 
tinker, " I '11 trust that with no man." " Well," an- 
swered the other, " be it as you please ; come with 
me, and I '11 show you Robin Hood." To accomplish 
this, Robin took him to an inn, where the ale and 
wine were so good and plentiful, and the tinker so 
thirsty, that he drank till he fell asleep ; and when he 
awoke, he found that the outlaw had not only left 
him to pay the reckoning, which was beyond his 
means, but had stolen the king's warrant. " Where 
is my friend ? " exclaimed the tinker, starting up. 
" Your friend ? " said mine host ; " why, men call him 
Robin Hood, and he meant you evil Avhen he met 
with you." The tinker left his working-bag and ham- 
mer as a pledge for the reckoning, and, snatching up 
his crab-tree club, sallied out after Robin. " You '11 
find him killing the king's deer, I '11 be sworn," shouted 
the landlord ; and, accordingly, among the deer he 
found him. " What knave art thou," said the outlaw, 
" that dare come so near the king of Sherwood ? " 

" ' No knave, no knave,' the tinker said, 
' And that you soon shall know ; 
Which of us have done most wrong, 
My crab-tree staff shall show.' 

Then Robin drew his gallant blade, 

Made of the trusty steel, 
But the tinker he laid on so fast. 

That he made Robin reel." 


This raised the outlaw's wrath, and he exerted his 
skill and courage so well, that the tinker more than 
once thought of flight ; but the man of Banbury was 
stubborn stufT, and at last drove Kobin to ask a favor. 

" 'A boon, a boon/ Robin he cries, 
' If thou wilt grant it me ;' 
'Before I '11 do 't,' the tinker said, 
' I '11 hang thee on a tree.' 

But the tinker looking him about, 

Robin his horn did blow ; 
Then unto him came Little John, 

And brave Will Scarlet too." 

" Now what is the matter, master," said Little John, 
" that you sit thus by the way-side ? " " You may 
ask the tinker there," said Robin ; " he hath paid me 
soundly." " I must have a bout with him, then," said 
the other, " and see if he can do as much for me." 
" Hold, hold," cried Robin ; " the tinker 's a jovial fel- 
low, and a stout." 

" 'In manhood he 's a mettled man. 
And a metal man ^y trade ; 
Never thought I that any man 
Should have made me so afraid. 

And if he will be one of us, 

We will take all one fare j 
Of gold and good, whate'er we get. 

The tinker he shall share.' " 

The tinker was not a man of many words ; he 
nodded assent, and added another bold forester to the 
ranks of the outlaw. 

Robin and his friends were so sharply hunted by 
the sheriff of Nottinghamshire, that they deemed it 


prudent to retire to the forests of Barnesdale, where 
they gaily pursued their calling. Their interference 
in church matters, in various ways, gave offence to his 
reverence, the Bishop of Hereford, who declared that 
measures should be taken to repress the insolence of 
the outlaw, and he promised to look strictly into the 
matter the first time he chanced to be near Barnes- 
dale. It was on a sunny morning that Robin heard 
of the bishop's approach, " with all his company," and 
his joy was excessive. 

" ' Go, kill me a fat buck,' said bold Robin Hood, 
' Go slay me a fair fat deer ; 
The Bishop of Hereford dines with me to-day, 
And he shall pay well for his cheer.' " 

Accordingly, the deer was killed and skinned, and 
laid to the fire, and, with six of his men habited like 
shepherds, Robin was pacing round and round, as the 
wooden spit with its savory load revolved, when up 
came the Bishop of Hereford, who halted, and ex- 
claimed, " What is all this, my masters ? For whom 
do you make such a feast, and of the king's venison ? 
Verily, I must look into this." " We are shepherds, 
simple shepherds, sir," replied the outlaw meekly. 
'' We keep sheep the whole year round, and as this 
is our holiday, we thought there was no harm in hold- 
ing it on one of the king's deer, of which there are 
plenty." " You are fine fellows," said the bishop, 
" mighty fine fellows ; but the king shall know of 
your doings ; so quit your roast, for to him you shall 
go, and that quickly." 

" ' pardon, pardon,' cried bold Robin Hood, 
' O pardon of thee I pray ; 


it ill becomes a holy bishop's coat, 
For to take men's lives away.' 

' No pardon, no pardon,' the bishop he said, 

' No pardon to thee I owe ; 
Therefore make haste, for I swear by St. Paul 

Before the king you shall go.' " 

Upon this, the outlaw sprung hack against a tree, 
and setting his horn to his mouth, made in a moment 
all the wood to ring. It was answered, as usual, by 
the sudden appearance of threescore and ten of his 
com^rades, who, with Little John at their head, over- 
powered the bishop's guard, and then inquired of 
Robin what was the matter that he blew a blast so 
sharp and startling. 

" '0 here is the Bishop of Hereford, 
And no pardon shall we have ;' 
'Ho, cut off his head, then,' quoth Little John, 
' And I '11 g'o make him a grave.' 

' pardon, pardon,' then cried the bishop, 

' pardon of thee I pray ; 
had I known that you were so near, 

I'd have gone some other way.' " 

Now Robin had no pleasure in shedding blood, but 
he loved to enjoy the terrors, of those whom he cap- 
tured : and to keep them in suspense, while he feasted 
them on the best, was a favorite practice of his. It 
was in this spirit that he now spoke : 

« 'No pardon, no pardon,' said bold Robin Hood, 
' No pardon to thee I owe ; 
Therefore make haste, for I swear by my bow 
That to Barnesdale with me you go.' 



Then Eobin he took the bishop by the hand, 

And led him to merry Barnesdale, 
And he supped that night in the clear moonlight, 

On the good red wine and ale." 

How this was to end, the bishop seems to have 
had a guess. The parody which the outlaw made 
on his threats of carrying him to the king, showed 
that he was in a pleasant mood ; and the venison 
collops, and the wine and ale, all evinced a tendency 
to mercy ; of which, as it was now late, he took ad- 
vantage. " I wish, mine host," said the bishop, with- 
a sort of grave good-nature, " that you would call a 
reckoning ; it is growing late, and I begin to fear that 
the cost of such an entertainment will be high." Here 
Little John interposed, for Robin affected great igno- 
rance in domestic matters, leaving the task of fleecing 
his guests to his expert dependents. " Lend me your 
purse, master," said his scrupulous deputy to the 
bishop, " and I '11 tell you all by-and-by." 

" Then Little John took the bishop's cloak, 
And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the bishop's portmanteau 
He told three hundred pound. 

'Here's gold enough, master,' said Little John, 

"Tis a comely thing for to see ; 
It puts me in charity with the good bishop, 

Though he heartily loveth not me.' 

Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand. 

And causing the music to play, 
He made the good bishop to dance in his boots, 

And glad he could so get aAvay." 

If we may put trust in ballad and song, the loss of 


the three hundred pounds dwelt on the hishop's mind, 
and at the head of a fair company he went in quest 
of his entertainer. He had well nigh taken Robin by- 
surprise, for he was upon him before he was aware ; 
but the outlaw escaped into an old woman's house, to 
whom he called, " Save my life ; I am Robin Hood, 
and here comes the bishop, to t.ake me and hang me." 
" Aye, that I will," said the old woman, " and not the 
less willingly that you gave me hose and shoon, when 
I greatly needed them." It w^as thus that the robber 
always found friends among the poor, for he was uni- 
formly their protector and benefactor. 

According to one of the ballads, king Edward had 
become deeply incensed against Robin, and went to 
Nottingham to bring him to justice. But in vain did 
he seek to get a sight of him ; at last, however, 
dressed in the disguise of a monk, he met him, and 
dined with him and his merry men in the forest. 
After a time, the king was recognised by the outlaw, 
who bent his knee in homage, and, upon an assurance 
of safety, went with him to Nottingham, where he 
was nobly entertained, in the midst of the court. He 
soon, however, became sick of this kind of life, and 
joyfully returned to the greenwood. 

But there is no safeguard against the approach of 
death. Time and toil began to do with Robin Hood 
all that they do with lesser spirits. One morning he 
had tried his shafts, and found that they neither flew 
so far as they were wont, nor with their usual accu- 
racy of aim ; and he thus addressed Little John, the 
most faithful of his companions : — , 


" ' I am not able to shoot a shot more, 
Mine arrows refuse to flee ; 
But I have a cousin lives down below, 
"Who. please God, will bleed me.' " 

Now this Qousin was prioress of Kirkley Nunnery, 
in Yorkshire, and seems to have had no good-will to 
Robin, whom she doubtless regarded as a godless and 
graceless person, who plundered church and church- 
men, and set laws, both sacred and profane, at defi- 

" Now Robin is to fair Kirkley gone. 
He knocked low at the ring ; 
And none came there save his cousin dear, 
To let bold Robin in, 

' Thrice welcome now, cousin Robin,' she said ; 

'Come drink some wine with me ;' 
'No, cousin, I '11 neither eat nor drink 

Till I blooded am by thee.' " 

She took him to a lonely room, and bled him, says 
the ballad, till one drop more refused to run : then 
she locked him in the place, with the vein unbound, 
and left him to die. This was in the morning ; and 
the day was near the close, when Robin, thinking the 
prioress was long in returning, tried to rise, but was 
unable, and, bethinking him of his bugle when it was 
too late, snatched it up, and blew three blasts. " My 
master must be very ill," said Little John, " for he 
blows wearily," and, hurrying to the nunnery, was 
refused admittance ; but, " breaking locks two or 
three," he found Robin all but dead, and, falling on 
his knee, begged as a boon to be allowed to " burn 
Kirkley Hall, with all its nunnery." " Nay, nay," 


replied Robin, " I never hurt a woman in all my life, 
nor yet a man in woman's company. As it has been. 
during my life, so shall it be at my end." 

" 'But give me my bent bow in my hand, 
A broad arrow I'll let flee, 
And where this shaft doth chance to fall, 
There shall my grave digged be. 

And lay my bent bow by my side, 

Which was my music sweet ; 
And cover my grave with sod so green. 

As is both right and meet. 

And let me have breadth and length enough, 

By the side of yon green wood, 
That men may say, when they look on it, 

Here lies bold Robin Hood.' " 

Having given th,ese directions, he died, and was 
buried as he directed, under some fine trees near 
Kirkley, and a stone with an inscription was laid on 
the grave. Little John, it is said, survived only to 
see his master buried. His burial-place is claimed by 
Scotland as well as by England ; but tradition inclines 
to the grave in the church-yard of Hathersage. 

The bond of union which had held his men so long 
together, was now broken ; some made their peace 
with the government, others fled to foreign parts, and 
nothing remained of Robin Hood but a name which 
is to be found in history, in the drama, in ballads, in 
songs, in sayings, and in proverbs. 


This hero of the American Revolution was born 
on the 6th of July, 1747, on the estate of Arbigland, 
in the parish of Kirkbean, Scotland. His father 
was a gardener, whose name was Paul, but the son 
assumed that of Jones, after his settlement in Amer- 
ica. The birthplace of young Paul was a bold pro- 
montory, jutting into the sea, and was well calculated 
to excite a love of the briny element, for which he 
soon displayed a decided predilection. 

At the age of twelve, he was bound apprentice to a 


merchant of Whitehaven, in the American trade. 
He soon after went to sea, in a vessel bound for Vir- 
ginia. While in port, he spent his time on shore with 
his brother William, who was a respectable planter 
in the colony. He devoted himself to the study of 
navig-ation and other subjects connected with the 
profession he had chosen. These he pursued with 
great steadiness, displaying those habits of industri- 
ous application, which raised him to the distinguished 
place he afterwards attained. His good conduct 
secured him the respect of his employers, and fte rose 
rapidly in his profession. 

At the age of nineteen, he had become the chief 
mate of the Two Friends, a slave ship, belonging to 
Jamaica. At this period, the traffic in slaves was 
exceedingly profitable, and was followed without scru- 
ple or reproach by the most respectable merchants of 
Bristol and Liverpool. But young Paul had pursued 
this business for only a short time, w'hen he became 
so shocked and sickened at the misery which it inflicted 
upon the negroes, that he left it forever in disgust. 

In 1768, he sailed from Jamaica for Scotland, as a 
passenger. Both the master and mate dying of fever 
on the voyage, he assumed the command, and arrived 
safely at port. Gratified by his conduct, the ov/ners 
placed him on board the brig John, as master and 
supercargo, and despatched him to the West Indies. 
He made a second voyage in the same vessel, during 
which he inflicted punishment on the carpenter, 
named Maxwell, for mutinous conduct. As Maxwell 
died of fever, soon after, Paul was charged, by per- 
sons who envied his rising reputation, with having 


caused his death by excessive punishment. This has 
been since abundantly disproved. Paul continued 
some time in the West India trade, but in 1773, he 
went to Virginia to arrange the affairs of his brother 
William, who had died without children, leaving 
no will. His brother was reported to have left a 
large estate ; but as Paul was, soon after, in a state of 
penury, it is probable that this was a mistake. He 
now devoted himself to agriculture, but his planting 
operations do not seem to have prospered. 

The American Revolution soon broke out, and con- 
sidering himself a settled resident of the country, he 
determined to take her part in the bloody struggle 
which was about to follow. Impelled by a noble 
enthusiasm for the cause of liberty, a spirit of adven- 
ture, and a chivalrous thirst for glory, he offered his 
services to Congress, which were accepted, and he 
was commissioned as a lieutenant in the navy, in 
December, 1775. At this time, he bore the name of 
Jones, which he had perhaps assumed to conceal 
his conduct from his family, who might be pained 
to know that one of their name had taken part against 

Jones was appointed first lieutenant of the Alfred, 
a flag-ship, and when the commander-in-chief came 
on board, he hoisted the American flag, with his own 
hands, being the first time it was ever displayed. At 
that time, the flag is said to have borne a device, rep- 
resenting a pine tree, with a rattlesnake coiled at the 
root, as if about to strike. The standard of the stars 
and stripes was not adopted till nearly two years 


At this period, our hero was in the twenty-ninth 
year of his age. His figure was light, graceful and 
active, yet his health was good, his constitution vigor- 
ous, and he was capable of great endurance. There 
was in his countenance an expression of mingled 
sternness and melanchoty, and his bearing was de- 
cidedly officer-like. 

The first American squadron fitted out during the 
revolution, sailed in 1776. Jones was on board the 
Alfred in this expedition, but subsequently received 
the command of the sloop of war Providence. In 
this he cruised along the coast, meeting with a vari- 
ety of adventures, in which he displayed admirable 
skill and coolness of conduct. On one occasion, he 
was chased by the British frigate Milford, off the Isle 
of Sable. Finding his vessel the faster of the two, 
he hovered near the frigate, yet beyond the reach of 
her shot. She, however, continued to pour forth her 
broadsides. This excited the contempt of Jones, and, 
with a humor peculiar to himself, he ordered the 
blustering battery of the frigate to be answered by a 
single shot from the musket of a marine. 

Jones pursued his career with great industry and 
success. He seemed to glide over the seas like a 
hawk, passing rapidly from point to point, and pounc- 
ing upon such prey as he could master. Some of his 
feats resemble the prodigies of the days of chivalry. 
He seemed to court adventure and to sport with dan- 
ger, yet a cool discretion presided over his conduct. 
In the year 1776, he captured no less than sixteen 
prizes in the space of six weeks. 

Notwithstanding these signal services, Jones was 


superseded in the command of the Alfred, probably 
through the mean jealousy of Commodore Hopkins. 
There is, perhaps, no higher proof of elevation of 
character than is furnished by a calm and dignified 
endurance of injustice and ingratitude. This evi- 
dence was afforded by Jones, who, while he remon- 
strated against the injury that was done him, steadily 
adhered to the cause he had espoused, and exerted his 
abilities to the utmost to bear it forward with success. 
His letters of this period are full of enlightened views 
on the subject of naval affairs, and of hearty zeal in 
the cause of liberty. They show that his mind was 
far above mere personal considerations, and that even 
with statesman-like sagacity he looked forward to the 
establishment of a naval power in the United States, 
suited to the exigencies of the country. 

The time for a recognition of his services speedily 
arrived. In 1777, he received orders from Congress 
to proceed in the French merchant ship Amphitrite, 
with officers and seamen, to take command of a heavy- 
ship, to be provided for him by the American com- 
missioners, Franklin, Dean and Lee, on his arrival 
in Europe. These he met at Paris, and arrange- 
ments were made by which he received the command 
of the Ranger, in which he sailed from Brest, on the 
10th of April, 1778. 

An insight into the views of Jones, at this period, 
as well as his general character, may be gathered 
from the following extract from one of his letters : — 
"I have in contemplation several enterprises of some 
importance. When an enemy thinks a design against 
him improbable, he can always be surprised and 


attacked with advantage. It is true, I must run 
great risk, but no gallant action was ever performed 
without danger. Therefore, though I cannot ensure 
success, I will endeavor to deserve it." 

In fulfilment of these views, he set sail, and in four 
days after, captured and burnt a brigantine loaded 
with flaxseed, near Cape Clear. On the 17th, he 
took a ship bound for Dublin, which he manned and 
ordered to Brest. On the 19th, he took and sunk a 
schooner ; on the 20th, a sloop ; and soon after, made 
a daring, but unsuccessful attempt to capture, by sur- 
prise, the English sloop of war Drake, of twenty 
guns, lying in the loch of Belfast. 

On the 22d, he determined to attack Whitehaven, 
with which he was of course well acquainted. The 
number of ships lying here amounted to two hundred 
and fifty, and were protected by two batteries, mount- 
ing thirty pieces of artillery. The attack was made 
in the dead of night, and while the unsuspecting 
inhabitants lay wrapped in repose. Roused to this 
daring enterprise by the fires, massacres, and ravages 
inflicted by the British forces upon the unprotected 
inhabitants of the American coast, and determined to 
check them by one signal and fearful act of retaliation, 
Jones pursued his measures wiih a stern and daring 

He proceeded, in the first place, to secure the forts, 
which were scaled, the soldiers made prisoners, and 
the guns spiked. He now despatched the greater 
portion of his men to set fire to the shipping, while 
he proceeded with a single follower to another fort, 
the guns of which he spiked. On returning to the 


ships, he found, to his mortification, that his orders 
had not been obeyed, from a reluctance, on the part 
of the seamen, to perform the task assigned them. 
One ship only was destroyed, which was set on fire 
by Jones himself. 

Greatly disappointed at the partial failure of his 
scheme, Jones proceeded to the Scottish shore, for 
the purpose of carrying off the person of the Earl of 
Selkirk, whose gardener his father had been. The 
earl, however, was absent, and this part of the design 
failed. His men, however, proceeded to the earl's 
residence, and carried ofT his plate. Lady Selkirk 
was present, but she was treated with respect. Jones 
took no part in this enterprise, and only consented to 
it upon the urgent demands of his crew. 

By this time, the people on both sides of the Irish 
channel were thoroughly roused by the daring pro- 
ceedings of the Ranger. On the morning of the 24th 
April, Jones was hovering near Belfast, and the 
Drake worked out of the bay, to meet him. She had 
on board a large number of volunteers, making her 
crew amount to one hundred and sixty men. Alarm 
smokes were now seen rising on both sides of the 
channel, and several vessels loaded with people, curi- 
ous to witness the coming engagement, were upon 
the water. As evening was approaching, however, 
they prudently put back. 

Soon after, the two vessels met, and Jones poured 
in his first broadside. This was returned with ener- 
gy, and a fearful conflict ensued. Running broadside 
and broadside, the most deadly fire was kept up. At 
last, after the struggle had been sustained at close 


quarters for more than an hour, the captain of the 
Drake was shot through the head, and his crew called 
for quarter. The loss of the Drake, in killed and 
wounded, was forty-two, while the Ranger had one 
seaman killed and seven wounded. 

This victory was the more remarkable as the Drake 
carried twenty guns, and the Ranger but eighteen, and 
moreover belonged to a regular navy ; while the Ran- 
ger was fitted up with little experience and under few 
advantages. Jones now set sail with* his prize, and 
both vessels arrived safely at Brest, on the 8th May. 
Immediately after, Jones despatched a very romantic 
epistle to Lady Selkirk, apologizing for the violence 
that had been committed at the estate of the earl, 
and explaining the motives of his conduct. He prom- 
ised to return the plate, which he afterwards accom- 
plished with infinite difficulty. 

It eventually reached England, though some years 
after, in the same condition in which it had been 
taken ; even the tea leaves in the tea-pot remaining 
as they were found. An acknowledgment of its 
receipt, by the earl, was sent to Jones, with a recog- 
nition of the courteous behavior of the Ranger's crew 
when they landed on Saint Mary's Isle. 

Being now at Brest with two hundred prisoners of 
war, Jones became involved in a variety of troubles, 
for want of means to support them, pay his crew and 
refit his ship. After many delays and vexations, he 
sailed from the road of Saint Croix, August 14, 1779, 
with a squadron of seven sail, designing to annoy the 
coasts of England and Scotland. The principal 
occurrence of this cruise was the capture of the Brit- 


ish ship of war Serapis, after a bloody and desperate 
engagement, off Flamborough Head, September 23, 
1779. The Serapis was a vessel much superior in 
force to Jones' vessel, the Bon Homme Richard, 
which sunk not long after the termination of the en- 

The sensation produced by this battle was unex- 
ampled, and raised the fame of Jones to its height. In 
a letter to him, Franklin says, " For some days after 
the arrival of your express, scarce anything was 
talked of at Paris and Versailles but your cool con- 
duct and persevering bravery during that terrible 
conflict. You may believe that the impression on 
my mind was not less than on that of the others. 
But I do not choose to say, in a letter to yourself, all 
I think on such an occasion." 

His reception at Paris, whither he went on the in- 
vitation of Franklin, was of the most flattering kind. 
He was everywhere caressed ; the king presented 
him with a gold sword, and requested permission of 
Congress to invest him with the military order of 
merit — an honor never conferred on any one before, 
who had not borne arms under the commission of 

In 1781, Jones sailed for the United States, and 
arrived in Philadelphia, February 18, of that year, 
after a variety of escapes and encounters, where he 
underwent a sort of examination before the board of 
admiralty, which resulted greatly to his honor. The 
board gave it as their opinion, " that the conduct of 
Paul Jones merits particular attention, and some dis- 
tinguished mark of approbation from Congress." 


That body accordingly passed a resolution highly 
complimentary to his " zeal, prudence, and intrepid- 
ity." General Washington wrote him a letter of 
congratulation, and he was afterwards voted a gold 
medal by Congress. 

From Philadelphia, he went to Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire, to superintend the building of a ship of 
war, and, while there, drew up some admirable ob- 
servations on the subject of the American navy. By 
permission of Congress, he subsequently went on 
board the French fleet, where he remained until the 
peace, which put a period to his naval career in the 
service of the United States. He then went to Paris 
as agent for prize money, and while there, joined in 
a plan to establish a fur-trade between the north-w^est 
coast of America and China, in conjunction with a 
kindred spirit, the celebrated John Ledyard. 

In Paris he continued to be treated with the great- 
est distinction. He afterwards \vas invited into the 
Russian service, with the rank of rear-admiral, where 
he was disappointed in not receiving the command 
of the fleet acting against the Turks in the Black 
Sea. He condemned the conduct of the prince of 
Nassau, the admiral ; became restless and impatient ; 
was intrigued against at court, and calumniated by 
his enemies ; and had permission from the empress 
Catherine to retire from the service wdth a pension, 
which, however, was never paid. He returned lo 
Paris, where he gradually sunk into poverty, neglect 
and ill health, and finally died of dropsy, July IS, 


Thomaso Aniello, called by corruption Masaniello, 
was born at Amalfi, in Italy, about the year 1622. 
He established himself at Naples, where he obtained 
a living by catching and vending fish. At this period, 
Naples belonged to Spain, and the Duke D'Arcos 
governed it as viceroy. The city was suffering under 
many political evils. Its treasures went to Spain, 
and its youth were sent to fill up the ranks of the 
Spanish army ; and both were wasted in ruinous 
wars, for the ambition and selfish views of a distant 

In addition to all this, the people were oppressed 


with taxes, and outraged by the wanton tyranny of 
the officers of a foreign power. At last, in the year 
1647, the Duke D'Arcos, in order to defray the ex- 
penses of a war against France, laid a tax on fruit 
and vegetables, the common articles of food of the 
Neapolitan people. This edict occasioned the great- 
est ferment, especially among the poorer inhabitants. 
Masaniello, who was now about twenty-five years of 
age, and a great favorite at the market-place, on ac- 
count of his natural quickness and humor, denounced 
the tax in no measured terms. He seems to have 
perceived and felt the despotism that oppressed the 
people, and was, moreover, incited to opposition by 
an event which touched him personally. 

His wife was one day arrested, as she was entering 
the city, attempting to smuggle a small quantity of 
flour, — an article which bore a heavy tax. She was 
accordingly, seized and imprisoned ; nor could Masa- 
niello obtain her release, but upon paying a consider- 
able sum. Thus the fire which was soon to burst forth 
into conflagration was already kindling in his soul. 
Opportunity was only wanting, and this was soon 

Masaniello was at the head of a troop of j^oung men 
who were preparing for the great festival of our Lady 
of the Carmel, by exhibiting sham combats, and a 
mock attack on a wooden castle. On the 7th July, 
1647, he and his juvenile troops were standing in the 
market-place, where, in consequence of the obnoxious 
tax, but few countrymen had come with the produce 
of their gardens. The people looked sullen and dis- 
satisfied. A dispute arose between a countryman 



and a customer who had bought some figs, as to which 
of the two was to bear the burden of the tax. 

The eletto, a municipal magistrate, acting as pro- 
vost of the trade, being appealed to, decided against 
the countryman ; upon which the latter, in a rage, 
upset the basket of figs upon the pavement. A crowd 
soon collected round the man, who was cursing the 
tax and the tax-gatherer. Masaniello ran to the spot, 
crying out, "No taxes, no more taxes!" The cry 
was caught and repeated by a thousand voices. The 
eletto tried to speak to the multitude, but Masaniello 
threw a bunch of figs in his face ; the rest of the 
people fell upon him, and he and his attendants escaped 
with difficulty. 

Masaniello then addressed the people round him in 
a speech of coarse, hot, fiery eloquence ; he described 
their common grievances and miseries, and pointed 
out the necessity of putting a stop to the oppression 
and avarice of their rulers. " The Neapolitan peo- 
ple," said he, "must pay no more taxes!" The 
people cried out, "Let Masaniello be our chief!" 

The crowd now set itself in motion, with Masaniello 
at their head ; it rolled onward, increasing its num- 
bers at every step. Their rage first fell on the toll- 
houses and booths of the tax collectors, w^hich were 
burned, and next on the houses and palaces of those 
who had farmed the taxes, or otherwise supported the 
obnoxious system. Armed with such weapons as 
they could procure from the gunsmiths and others, 
they proceeded to the viceroy's palace, forced their 
way in spite of the guards; and Masaniello and oth- 
ers, his companions, having reached the viceroy's 


presence, peremptorily demanded the abolition of all 

The viceroy assented to this ; but the tumult in- 
creasing, he tried to escape, was personally ill-treated, 
and at last contrived, by throwing money among the 
rioters, to withdraw himself into the castle. The 
palaces were emptied of their furniture, which was 
carried into the midst of the square, and there burnt 
by Masaniello's directions. He was now saluted by 
acclamation, as " Captain General of the Neapolitan 
people." A platform was immediately raised in the 
square, and he entered upon the duties of his office. 

The revolution was soon complete, and Naples, the 
metropolis of many fertile provinces, the queen of many 
noble cities, the resort of princes, of cavaliers, and of 
heroes ; — Naples, inhabited by more than six hundred 
thousand souls, abounding in all kinds of resources, 
glorying in its strength, and proud of its wealth — saw 
itself forced in one short day to yield to a man esteem- 
ed one of its meanest sons, such obedience as in all 
its history it had never before shown to the mightiest 
of its legitimate sovereigns. 

In a few hours, the fisherman found himself at 
the head of one hundred and fifty thousand men ; 
in a few hours, there was no will in Naples but his ; 
and in a few hours, it was freed from all sorts of taxes 
and restored to its ancient privileges. In a short 
space, the fishing wand was exchanged for the trun- 
cheon of command ; the sea-boy's jacket for cloth of 
silver and gold. He set about his new duties with 
astonishing vigor ; he caused the town to be entrench- 
ed ; he placed sentinels to guard it against danger 


from without, and he established a system of police 
within, which awed the worst banditti in the world, 
into fear. 

Armies passed in review before him ; even fleets 
owned his sway. He dispensed punishments and 
rewards with the like liberal hand ; the bad he kept 
in awe ; the disaffected he paralyzed ; the wavering 
he resolved by exhortation ; the bold were encouraged 
by incitements; the valiant were made more valiant by 
his approbation. Obeyed in whatever he commanded, 
gratified in whatever he desired, never was there a 
chief more absolute, never was an absolute chief, for 
a time, more powerful. He ordered that all the 
nobles and cavaliers should deliver up their arms to 
such officers as he should give commission to receive 
them. The order was obeyed. He ordered that all 
men of all ranks should go without cloaks or gowns, 
or wide cassocks, or any other sort of loose dress, 
under which arms might be concealed ; nay, that 
even the women, for the same reason, should throw 
aside their farthingales, and tuck up their gowns 
somewhat high. 

This order changed in an instant the whole fash- 
ions of the people ; not even the proudest and the 
fairest of Naples' daughters daring to dispute, in the 
least, the pleasure of the people's idol. Nor was it 
over the high and noble alone, that he exercised this 
unlimited ascendancy. The fierce democracy were 
as acquiescent as the titled few. On one occasion, 
when the people in vast numbers were assembled, he 
commanded, with a loud voice, that every one present 
should, under the penalty of death, retire to his home. 


The multitude instantly dispersed. On another, he 
put his finger on his mouth, to command silence ; in 
a mioment, every voice was hushed. At a sign from 
him, all the bells tolled and the people shouted 
" Vivas ! " at another, they all became mute. 

Yet the reign of this prodigy of power was short, 
lasting only from the 7th till the 16th of July, 1647 ; 
when he perished, the victim of another political rev- 
olution. His sudden rise, and the multiplicity of 
affairs that crowded upon him, began to derange his 
intellect. He complained of sensations like that of 
boiling lead, in his head ; he became suspicious, wa- 
vering and cruel. In a fit of frenzy he went to one of 
the churches and talked incoherently to the multitude. 
He was taken by the priests to an adjoining convent, 
and advised to rest and calm himself. After reposing 
for a time, he arose, and stood looking forth upon the 
tranquil bay of Naples, no doubt thinking of happier 
days, when, as a poor fisherman, he glided out con- 
tented upon its bosom — when all at once a cry was 
heard, of " Masaniello I " At the same instant armed 
men appeared at the cell door. " Here am I, — O, my 
people want me," said he. The discharge of guns 
was their only reply ; and the victim fell, exclaiming, 
" Ungrateful traitors ! " His head was now cut off, 
fixed on a pole, and carried to the viceroy, while the 
body was dragged through the streets and thrown into 
a ditch, by those who had followed it with acclama- 
tions a few hours before ! 


Nicholas Gabrine de Rienzi was a native of 
Rome, and son of one of the lowest order of tavern- 
keepers. He was, however, well educated, and early 
distinguished himself by his talents and the elevation 
of his sentiments. The glory of ancient Rome ex- 
cited his enthusiasm, and he soon came to be regarded 
by the people as destined to rescue them from the 
despotism of the aristocracy that ruled the city. 

The pope, Clement VI., had removed the papal see 
from Rome to Avignon, in France, leaving the people 
under the sway of certain noble families, who exer- 
cised every species of brutal and insolent tyranny 
towards their inferiors. Rienzi saw this, and he felt 
all the indignation which a generous sympathy for 
the oppressed could excite. His sentiments being 
known, he was appointed, in 1346, among others, to 
proceed to Avignon, and exhort the pope to bring back 
ihe papal court to its original seat. He acted, on this 
occasion, with so much energy and eloquence, that 
the pope, though he refused compliance with the 
request, conferred upon him the office of apostolic 
notary, which, on his return, he executed with the 
strictest probity. 

220 RIENZI. 

It appears that Rienzi had long meditated some 
great effort for the liberation of his countrymen. He 
now lost no opportunity to instruct the people in their 
rights, and stir up indignation against their oppressors. 
Having prepared men's minds for a change, and hav- 
ing secretly engaged persons of all orders in his de- 
signs, he proceeded to put them in execution. In 
April, 1347, Stephen Colonna, a nobleman, who was 
governor of Rome, being absent from the city, Rienzi 
secretly assembled his followers upon Mount Aven- 
tine, and, by an energetic speech, induced them all to 
subscribe an oath for the establishment of a new gov- 
ernment, to be entitled the Good Estate. 

Proceeding now with more boldness, another as- 
sembly was held in the capital : a constitution of fif- 
teen articles was produced and ratified, and Rienzi 
was pronounced Tribune by acclamation, with the 
power of life and death, and all the attributes of sove- 
reignty. Colonna returned, and threatened him with 
punishment ; but the power had changed hands, and 
Colonna himself was obliged to fly. Rienzi proceed- 
ed in the exercise of his authority with strict justice. 
Some of the more culpable nobles were executed, and 
others banished. 

The power of the new tribune was established, and 
his reputation extended throughout Italy. His friend- 
ship was solicited by kings and princes; the pope sanc- 
tioned his authority, and even Petrarch, the immortal 
poet, addressed him letters, which are still extant, 
bestowing upon him eloquent praise, and urging him 
to perseverance in his glorious career. But, unhap- 
pily, there was a weakness in Rienzi's character, 

RIENZI. 221 

which disqualified him for this giddy elevation. In- 
toxicated with the possession of supreme power, and 
the flatteries bestowed upon him, he became capricious 
and tyrannical, and, in short, commenced a reign of 

His descent was as rapid as his rise ; soon finding" 
that he had lost the affection of the people, in 1348, 
he withdrew for safety to Naples. Two years after, 
during a public jubilee at Rome, he secretl}?- returned 
to that city, but being discovered, he withdrew to 
Prague. He now fell into the hands of Pope Cle- 
ment, who kept him in prison for three years. His 
successor, Innocent VI., caused him to be released, 
and sent him to Rome, to oppose another demagogue, 
named Boroncelli. 

The Romans received him with joy, and he sud- 
denly recovered his former authority. But he was 
still a tyrant, and after a turbulent administration of 
a few months, another sedition was excited against 
him, and he was stabbed to the heart. The fickle 
people now bestowed every indignity upon the sense- 
less remains of him, whom they had almost worship- 
ped a few weeks before. Such was the career of 
Rienzi, who was endowed v/ith noble sentiments and 
remarkable eloquence, but was deficient in that stea- 
diness of mind and firmness of principle, which are 
necessary to the just exercise of unlimited sway. 


Alexander Selkirk was born at Largo, Scot- 
land, in 1676, and bred to the sea. Having engaged 
in the half piratical, half exploring voyages in the 
American seas, into which the spirit of adventure had 
led so many Englishmen, he quarrelled with his cap- 
tain, one Straddling, by whom he was left ashore, 
September, 1704, on the uninhabited island of Juan 
Fernandez, with a few books, his nautical instruments, 
a knife, boiler, axe, gun, powder and ball. These 
constituted his whole equipment. 

The island of Juan Fernandez lies in the Pacific 


Ocean, and is about three hundred and thirty miles 
west of Chili. It is twelve miles long and six wide. 
It is beautifully diversified with hills and valleys, and 
has been long resorted to for water, fruits, and game, 
by vessels navigating the Pacific Ocean. Upon this 
island, Selkirk now found himself alone. He saw 
the vessel depart with sadness and sickness at heart. 
His emotions of terror and loneliness overwhelmed 
him for a time, and he remained in a state of stupor 
and inactivity. 

But these feelings gradually faded away, and though 
his situation was appalling, he concluded to make the 
best of it. He now set about erecting himself two 
huts, one of which served him for a kitchen, the other 
for a dining-room and bed-chamber. The pimento 
wood supplied him with fire and candles, burning 
very clearly, and yielding a most fragrant smell. The 
roofs of his huts were covered with long grass. 

The island was stocked with wild goats. He sup- 
plied himself with meat by shooting these, so long as 
his ammunition lasted. When this was exhausted, 
he caught them by running; and so practised was he at 
last in this exercise, that the swiftest goat on the island 
was scarcely a match for him. When his clothes 
were worn out, he made himself a covering of goat- 
skins. After a short space, he had no shoes, and was 
obliged to go barefoot ; his feet, however, became 
so callous, that he did not seem to need them. 

Soon after he had become settled in his hut, he was 
annoyed by rats, which became so bold as to gnaw 
his clothes and nibble at his feet while he slept. 
However, the same ships which had supplied the 


island with rats, had left some cats ashore. Some of 
these, Selkirk domesticated, and the rats were taught 
to keep themselves at a distance. He caught also 
some young goats, which he reared, and amused him- 
self by teaching them to dance and perform many 
other tricks. During his stay upon the island, Sel- 
kirk caught and killed nearly five hundred goats. A 
few he set at liberty, having cropped their ears. 
Thirty years after, Lord Anson's crew shot a goat 
upon the island, and found its ears marked in the 
manner described. 

Selkirk generally enjoyed good health, but in one 
case he nearly lost his life by accident. In the eager 
pursuit of a goat among the mountains, he fell over 
a precipice, and lay there for some time in a state of 
insensibility. On recovering his senses, he found the 
animal which had caused his fall, lying dead beneath 

Selkirk often saw vessels pass by the island, and 
made frequent, but vain attempts to hail them. At 
length, after he had lived here in perfect solitude for 
four years and four months, he was taken off by an 
English vessel, commanded by Captain Rogers. This 
occurred in February, 1709. Although he felt great 
joy at his deliverance, he still manifested much diffi- 
culty in recovering his speech, and in returning to 
such food as he found on board the ship. It was a 
long time before he could again accustom himself to 

Captain Rogers made him a mate of his ship, and 
he returned to England in 1711. It has been sup- 
posed that he gave his papers to De Foe, who wove. 


out of his adventures, the admirable story of Eobinson 
Crusoe. It appears, however, that he made little use 
of Selkirk's narrative, beyond the mere idea of a 
man living alone for several years upon an unin- 
habited island. 


This celebrated financial projector was born at 
Edinburgh, in April, 1671. His father was a gold- 
smith, and gave him a liberal education. He made 
considerable progress in polite literature, but his fa- 
vorite study was finance as connected with national 

In 1694, he visited London, where his talents and 
accomplishments gained him access to the first circles. 
He possessed an easy address, with an elegant person, 
and being a favorite with the fair, he acquired some 

LAW. 22^ 

notoriety in fashionable life. He became involved in 
a duel, in which he killed his antagonist, and was 
consequently committed to prison. He contrived, 
however, to escape, and took refuge on the continent. 

In 1700, he returned to Edinburgh, where he 
broached a scheme for removing the difficulties which 
then existed in consequence of the scarcity of money 
and the failure of the banks. Having confounded 
currency with credit, he adopted the notion that paper 
money, equal to the whole property of the nation, 
might safely be issued. Upon this egregious error, 
his project v/as' founded, and was, of course, rejected 
by his wary and sagacious countrymen. 

Law now visited the principal cities of Europe ; 
his address gaining him admittance to the highest 
circles in all countries. He finally settled in Paris, 
and was there during the regency of the Duke of 
Orleans, as guardian of Louis XV. The government 
of France was then on the verge of bankruptcy, in con- 
sequence of the enormous expenditures of Louis XIY. 
Law now brought forward his schemes for a free 
supply of money, and they were seized upon with 

He established a bank, for which a royal charter 
was granted in 1718. It was first composed of twelve 
hundred shares, of three thousand livres each, but the 
number was afterwards increased and the price re- 
duced. This bank became the office at which all 
public moneys were received. A Mississippi com- 
pany was also attached to it, which had grants of land 
in Louisiana, and which was expected to realize im- 
mense sums by planting and commerce. One privi- 

228 LAW. 

lege after another was granted, until the prospects of 
advantage appeared to be so great that crowds came 
forward to make investments in the stock of what was 
called the Mississippi Company. 

Thousands embarked in the scheme with enthu- 
siasm. The shares were greedily bought up, and 
such was the rage for speculation, that even the 
unimproved parts of the new colony were actually 
sold for thirty thousand livres the square league ! 
But the delusion did not stop here. In consequence 
of the company promising an annual dividend of two 
hundred livres per share, the price rose from five hun- 
dred and fifty to five thousand livres, and the mania 
for purchasing the stock spread over the nation like 
a tempest. Every class, clergy and laity, peers and 
plebeians, statesmen and princes, — nay, even ladies, 
who had, or could produce money for that purpose, 
turned stock-jobbers, outbidding each other with such 
avidity, that, in November, 1719, after some fluctua- 
tions, the price of shares rose to more than sixty times 
the sum for which they were originally sold ! 

Law was now at the pinnacle of his fame. He 
was considered a man of so great consequence, that 
his levee was constantly crowded by persons of emi- 
nence, who flocked to Paris to partake of the golden 
shower. On one occasion, he was taken sick, and 
such was the feverish state of the public mind, that 
the shares of the company immediately fell nearly 
eight per cent., and, upon the rumor of his convales- 
cence, immediately rose, even beyond their former 

But the mighty bubble, now inflated to the utmost, 

LAW. 229 

was about to burst. On the 21st of April, 1719, a 
royal order, under pretence of a previous depreciation 
of the value of coin, declared it necessary to reduce 
the nominal value of bank notes to one half, and the 
shares of the Mississippi Company from nine thou- 
sand to five thousand livres. It is not possible to 
describe the calamitous effects which immediately 
followed, throughout France. The bank notes could 
not be circulated for more than one tenth of their 
nominal value. Another order was issued, intended 
to counteract the effect of the first ; but the charm was 
broken, and nothing could restore the confidence of 
the public. All was panic and confusion. Bank 
notes were refused in all transactions of business, and 
even a royal order, commanding their acceptance, was 
of no avail. The public alarm was carried to its 
height, and at last the bank suspended the payment 
of its notes. 

The splendid scheme had now exploded ; the in- 
stitution was bankrupt, and the shares were utterly 
worthless. . Thousands of families, once wealthy, 
were suddenly reduced to indigence. The indigna- 
tion of the public was speedily turned against the 
chief instrument of these delusions, and Law found 
it necessary to seek safety by flight. He resided, for 
some time, in different places in Germany, and settled 
at length in Venice, where he died, in 1729. 

T E E N C K 

Frederick, Baron Trenck was born in Konigsberg. 
in Prussia, on the 16th February, 1726, of one of 
the most ancient families of the country. His father, 
who died in 1740, with the rank of major-general of 
cavalry, bestowed particular care on the education of 
his son, and sent him, at the age of thirteen, to the 
university of his native city, where he made a rapid 

TRENCK. 231 

progress in his studies. He soon began to manifest 
that impetuous disposition and those violent passions, 
which were probably the source of his subsequent 
misfortunes. By the time he was sixteen, he had 
been engaged in three duels, in each of which he 
wounded his antagonist. 

He went into the army at an early period, and soon 
obtained the notice and favor of the king. When 
arrived at manhood, he was remarkable for personal 
beauty and niingled grace and dignity of bearing. 
Being stationed at Berlin, he became acquainted with 
the Princess Amelia, sister of Frederick the Great, 
and a mutual attachment followed. This became a 
subject of conversation, and soon reached the ears of 
Frederick. He warned Trenck to break off his in- 
tercourse with the princess ; but this being unheeded, 
the king sent him to Glatz, under some pretext, and 
caused him to be imprisoned. 

His confinement soon became insupportable to his 
impatient temper, and he resolved to avail himself of 
the first opportunity of escape. The window of his 
apartment looked toward the city, and was ninety feet 
from the ground, in the tower of the citadel. With 
a notched penknife, he sawed through three iron bars, 
and with a file, procured from one of the officers, he 
effected a passage through five more, which barricaded 
the windows. This done, he cut his leathern port- 
manteau into thongs, sewed them end to end, added 
the sheets of his bed, and safely descended from the 
astonishing height. 

The night was dark, and everything seemed to 
promise success ; but a circumstance he had never 

232 TRENCK. 

considered was, that he had to wade through moats 
full of mud, before he could enter the city. He sunk 
up to the knees, and, after long- struggling and incred- 
ible efforts to extricate himself, he was obliged lo call 
the sentinel, and desire him to go and tell the gover- 
nor that Trenck was stuck fast in the ditch ! 

After the failure of several other. attempts, he finally 
succeeded in effecting his escape, and fled to Vienna. 
From thence, he w'ent to St. Petersburg, where he 
was received with the highest distinction, and the road 
to honors and emoluments was laid open before him. 
But at this period, the death of a wealthy cousin in 
Austria, induced him to return thither. Here, an 
immense property slipped through his hands, in con- 
sequence of some legal flaws. 

In 1754, his mother died, from whose estate he 
received a considerable sum. With a view to the 
settlement of her affairs, he went to Dantzic, not per- 
mitting his name to be known. He was, however, 
betrayed into the hands of Frederick's officers, and 
being conveyed to the castle of Magdeburg, was im- 
mured in a dungeon, and loaded with irons. 

Round his neck was a broad band of iron, to the 
ring of which his chains were suspended. These 
were of such weight, that, when he stood up, he was 
obliged to sustain them with his hands, to prevent 
being strangled. Various other massive irons were 
riveted to his body, and the whole were fastened to a 
thick staple, which was set in the stone wall. Under 
this staple was a seat of bricks, and on the opposite 
side a water jug. Beneath his feel was a tomb- 

TRENCK. 233 

Stone, with the name of Trenck carved over a death's 

His confinement in this dreadful cell continued for 
nine years and five months. In vain did he attempt 
to bribe the sentinels, and by other ingenious means, 
to effect his escape. His furniture consisted of a bed- 
stead, a mattress, and a small stove. His food was a 
pound and a half of mouldy bread and a jug of water 
a day. He was permitted to hold no intercourse with 
any one except his keepers, and even these returned 
no answer to his thousand questions. 

Such, however, were the vigor of his constitution 
and the elasticity of his spirits, that, amid the gloomy 
horrors of his prison, he seemed still to seek amuse- 
ment by the exertion of his talents. He composed 
verses, and, having no ink, wrote them with his blood. 
He also carved curious emblems upon tin cups with 
his knife. His great ingenuity excited the attention 
of many persons of rank, particularly the Empress 
Maria Theresa, who ordered her minister to employ 
all his influence at the court of Berlin to obtain his 

The Baron, in his Life, relates the following curious 
anecdote : — " I tamed a mouse so perfectly that the 
little animal was continually playing with me, and 
used to eat out of my mouth. One night it skipped 
about so much, that the sentinels heard a noise, and 
made their report to the officer of the guard. As the 
garrison had been changed at the peace, and as I had 
not been able to form, at once, so close a connection 
with the officers of the regular troops, as I had done 
with those of the militia, an officer of the former, 

234 TRENCK. 

after ascertaining the truth of the report with his own 
ears, sent to inform the commanding officer that some- 
thing extraordinary w^as going on in my prison. 

" The town major arrived, in consequence, early in 
the morning, accompanied by locksmiths and masons. 
The floor, the. walls, my chains, my body, everything, 
in short, w^as strictly examined. Finding all in order, 
they asked me the cause of last evening's bustle. I 
had heard the mouse myself, and told them frankly 
by what the noise had been occasioned. They de- 
sired me to call my little favorite ; I whistled, and the 
mouse immediately leaped on my shoulder. I soli- 
cited its pardon, but the officer of the guard took it into 
his possession, promising, however, on his word of 
honor, to give it to a lady who would take great care 
of it. Turning it afterwards loose in his chamber, 
the mouse, who knew nobody but me, soon disap- 
peared and hid itself in a hole. 

" At the usual hour of visiting my prison, w^hen the 
officers were just going away, the poor little animal 
darted in, climbed up my legs, seated itself on my 
shoulder, and played a thousand tricks to express the 
joy it felt at seeing me again. Every one was aston- 
ished and wished to have it. The major, to terminate 
the dispute, carried it away and gave it to his wife, 
who had a light cage made for it ; but the mouse 
refused to eat, and a few days afterwards was found 

Trenck was at length released, and soon after mar- 
ried an amiable lady, by whom he had eleven chil- 
dren. On the death of Frederick the Great, his suc- 
cessor granted him a passport to Berlin, and restored 



his confiscated estates, which he had not enjoyed for 
forty-two years. He soon set off for Konigsburg, 
where he found his brother, who was very sick, wait- 
ing for him with impatience, and who adopted his 
children as his heirs. He was also received by all 
his friends with testimonies of joy. Here, it would 
appear, that Trenck might have spent the remainder 
of his days, in peace and quiet, but his restless dis- 
position again made him the football of fortune. After 
many vicissitudes, he terminated his career in obscu- 
rity, and died in 1797. 


About the year 1S22, there appeared at New York 
a young man, of small stature, light hair, light eyes, 
and in every respect of ordinary appearance, who told 
of himself a strange and interesting story, which was 
briefly this. 

At an early period of his childhood, he, with two 
other white children, living on the farthest bound of 
the western settlements, were one day carried off by 
a party of Indians, probably Kickapoos. One of the 
children was killed before his eyes, and he was soon 
separated from the other. He was carried to a con- 
siderable distance by the Indians, who at last arrived 
at their hunting grounds. He became gradually 
reconciled to his situation, and, though he was occa- 
sionally taunted by being white, he was finally re- 
garded as one of the tribe. 

He continued to live among the Indians for many 
years ; travelled with them in their migrations over 
the vast western wilds, visited the borders of the Pa- 
cific Ocean, and shared in the wild adventures of 
Indian life. He came, with his Indian friends, at last, 
to the Osage settlements on the Arkansas, where he 
found some white traders, among whom was a Colo- 
nel Watkins, who treated him with kindness, and 

HUNTER. 237 

sought to persuade him to leave the Indians, and 
return to civilized life. Such, however, was his 
attachment to his adopted friends, that he rejected 
these suggestions. 

Soon after, however, under the influence of intoxi- 
cation, his Indian friends having laid a deep scheme 
for murdering Colonel Watkins and his party of 
hunters, the hero of our story deserted his tribe, and 
gave timely notice to Watkins, thus saving his life, 
and that of his friends. 

Though his mind was greatly agitated by a feeling 
of self-disgust for the treachery he had committed 
toward his Indian brethren, he continued with the 
party of Watkins for a time, and descended the Ar- 
kansas river with them, nearly to its junction with 
the Mississippi. Here he left them, having made up 
his mind to join some Indian tribe which might not 
be acquainted with his breach of faith to the band of 
Osages, with ^vhom he had lived so long. 

Being supplied with a rifle and plenty of ammuni- 
tion, he struck into the wilderness in a northerly 
direction, and pursued his w^anderings alone, amid 
the boundless solitude. In the volume which he after- 
wards published, he thus describes this portion of his 
adventures : — ■ 

" The hunting season for furs had now gone by, and 
the time and labor necessary to procure food for my- 
self, was very inconsiderable. I knew of no human 
being near me ; my only companions were the graz- 
ing herds, the rapacious animals that preyed on them, 
the beaver and other animals that afforded pelts, and 
birds, fish and reptiles. Notwithstanding this soli- 



tude, many sources of amusement presented them- 
selves to me,. especially after I had become somewhat 
familiarized to it. 

" The country around was delightful, and I roved 
over it almost incessantly, in ardent expectation of 
falling- in with some party of Indians, with whom I 
might be permitted to associate myself. Apart from 
the hunting that was essential to my subsistence, I 
practised various arts to take fish, birds, and small 
game ; frequently bathed in the river, and took great 
pleasure in regarding the dispositions and habits of 
such animals as were presented to my observation. 

" The conflicts of the male buffaloes and deer, the 
attack of the latter on the rattlesnake, the industry 
and ingenuity of the beaver in constructing its dam, 
and the attacks of the panther on its prey, afforded 
much interest, and engrossed much time. Indeed, I 
have lain for half a day at a time, in the shade, to 
witness the management and policy observed by the 
ants in storing up their food, the manoeuvres of the 
spider in taking its prey, the artifice of the mason-fly 
in constructing and storing its clayey cells, and the 
voraciousness and industry of the dragon-fly to satisfy 
its appetite. 

" In one instance, I vexed a rattlesnake, till it bit 
itself, and subsequently saw it die from the poison of 
its o\vn fangs. I also saw one strangled in the 
wreathed folds of its inveterate enemy — the black 
snake. But, in the midst of this extraordinary em- 
ployment, my mind was far from being satisfied. I 
looked back with the most painful reflections on what 
I had been, and on what sacrifices I had made, merely 



to become an outcast, to be hated and despised by 
those I sincerely loved and esteemed. But, however 
much I was disposed to be dissatisfied and quarrel 
with myself, the consolation of the most entire con- 
viction that I had acted rightly, always followed, and 
silenced my self-upbraidings. 

" The anxiety and regrets about my nation, country 
and kindred, for a long time held paramount domin- 
ion over all my feelings ; but I looked unwaveringly 
to the Great Spirit, in whom experience had taught 
me to confide, and the tumultuous agitations of my 
mind gradually subsided into a calm ; I became sat- 
isfied with the loneliness of my situation, could lie 
down to sleep among the rocks, ravines, and ferns, in 
careless quietude, and hear the wolf and panther 
prowling around me ; and I could almost feel the ven- 
omous reptiles seeking shelter and repose under my 
robe, with sensations bordering on indifference. 

" In one of my excursions, while sitting in the 
shade of a large tree, situated on a gentle declivity, 
with a view to procure some mitigation from the op- 
pressive heat of the mid-day sun, I was surprised by 
a tremendous rushing noise. I sprang up, and dis- 
covered a herd, I believe, of a thousand buffaloes, 
running at full speed, directly towards me ; with a 
view, as I supposed, to beat off the flies, which, at this 
season, are inconceivably troublesome to those ani- 

" I placed myself behind the tree, so as not to be 
seen, not apprehending any danger, because they ran 
with too great rapidity, and too closely together, to 

240 HUNTER. 

afford any one of them an opportunity of injuring me, 
while protected in this manner. 

" The buffaloe.s passed so near me on both sides that 
I could have touched several of them, merely by 
extending my arm. In the rear of the herd, was one 
on which a huge panther had fixed, and was vora- 
ciously engaged in cutting off the muscles of the 
neck. I did not discover this circumstance till it had 
nearly passed beyond rifle-shot distance, when I dis- 
charged my piece, and wounded the panther. It 
instantly left its hold on the buffalo, and bounded, with 
great rapidity, towards me. On witnessing the result 
of my shot, the apprehensions I suffered can hardly 
be imagined. I had, however, sufficient presence of 
mind to retreat, and secrete myself behind the trunk 
of the tree, opposite to its approaching direction. 
Here, solicitous for what possibly might be the result 
of my unfortunate shot, I prepared both my knife and 
tomahawk for w^hat I supposed would be a deadly! 
conflict with the terrible animal. 

" In a few moments, however, I had the satisfac- 
tion to hear it in the branches of the tree over my 
head. My rifle had just been discharged, and I 
entertained fears that I could not reload it without 
discovering and exposing myself to the fury of its 
destructive rage. I looked into the tree with the 
utmost caution, but could not perceive it, though its 
groans and vengeance-breathing growls told me that 
it was not far off, and also what I had to expect in 
case it should discover me. 

" In this situation, with my eyes almost constantly 
directed upwards to observe its motions, I silently 

HUNTER. 241 

loaded my rifle, and then, creeping softly round the 
trunk of the tree, saw my formidable enemy resting 
on a considerable branch, about thirty feet from the 
ground, with his side fairly exposed. 1 was unob- 
served, took deliberate aim, and shot it through the 
heart. It made a single bound from the tree to the 
earth, and died in a moment afterwards. 

" I reloaded my rifle before 1 ventured to approach 
it, and even then not without some apprehension. I 
took its skin, and was, with the assistance of fire and 
smoke, enabled to preserve and dress it. I name this 
circumstance, because it afterwards afforded a source 
of some amusement; for I used frequently to array 
myself in it, as near as possible to the costume and 
form of the original, and surprise the herds of buffa- 
loes, elk and deer, which, on my approach, uniformly 
fled with great precipitation and dread. 

" On several occasions, when I waked in the morn- 
ing, I found a rattlesnake coiled up close alongside 
of me : some precaution was necessarily used to avoid 
thiem. In one instance, I lay quiet till the snake saw 
fit to retire ; in another, I rolled gradually and im- 
perceptibly away, till out of its reach ; and in another, 
where the snake was still more remote, but in which 
we simultaneously discovered each other, I Avas 
obliged, Avhile it was generously warning me of the 
danger I had to fear from the venomous potency of 
its fangs, to kill it with my tomahawk." 

After Hunter had been engaged in roving about in 
this manner for several months, hoping to meet with 
some party of Indians to whom he might attach him- 
self, he met with a company of French hunters, whom 

242 HUNTEK. 

he accompanied to Flee's settlement, on the White 
river. From this point, after a stay of some months, 
in which he acquired a good deal of credit for cures 
which he performed by means of Indian remedies, he 
set out on a hunting expedition, during which he col- 
lected a large quantity of furs. These he sold to a 
Yankee, for 650 dollars, as he supposed, but, being 
ignorant on the subject of money, he found, on hav- 
ing the cash counted, that it was only 22 dollars ! 

This took place at Maxwell's fort, on the White 
river. Disgusted with the white people, by this act 
of plunder, he determined to quit them forever, and 
set off again to join the Indians. He was, however, 
diverted from his purpose, and went with a hunting 
party up the west fork of the river St. Francis. 
Spending the season here, he returned, and making 
his way down the Mississippi, sold his furs for 1100 
dollars. Thence he proceeded as a boatman to New 
Orleans, where his mind was greatly astonished at 
the scenes he beheld, the streets, the houses, the 
wharves, ships, &c. 

He retraced his steps, and came to Cape Girardeau, 
in Missouri, where he remained some time, acquiring 
the rudiments of the English language. His acquain- 
tances had given him the name of Hunter, because 
of his expertness and success in the chase. His 
Christian name was adopted, as he says in his book, 
from the following circumstance. " As Mr. John 
Dunn, a gentleman of high respectability, of Cape 
Girardeau county, state of Missouri, had treated me 
in every respect more like a brother or a son than 
any other individual had, since my association with 



the white people, I adopted his for that of my distinc- 
tive, and have since been known by the name of John 
Dunn Hunter." It is important for the reader to 
mark this passage, for important resuhs afterwards 
turned upon it. 

He now spent two or three years, a part of the 
time at school, making, hpwever, several expeditions 
to New Orleans, to dispose of furs he had either 
taken in hunting or obtained by purchase. At last, 
in the autumn of 1821, he crossed the Alleganies, and 
entered upon a new career. So far, his story is told 
by himself, in his book, which we shall notice here- 

On his way. Hunter paid a visit to Mr. Jefferson, 
who received him kindly, and, taking a strong interest 
in his welfare, gave him letters of introduction to 
several persons at Washington. Hunter went thither, 
and, passing on, came to Philadelphia, and at last to 
New York, everywhere exciting a lively interest, by 
the remarkable character of his story, and the man- 
ner in which he related it. He was found to be well- 
informed as to many things, then little known, re- 
specting the western country ; he was, accordingly, 
much sought after, patronized and flattered, especially 
by persons distinguished for science and wealth. He 
was, in short, a lion. The project was soon sug- 
gested, that he should write a book, detailing his 
adventures, and giving an account of the Indians, and 
the Indian country, as far as he was acquainted with 
these subjects. A subscription was started, and read- 
ily filled with a long list of great names. The book 
was written by Mr. Edward Clark, and, in 1823, it 

244 HUNTEK. 

was published, under the title of " Manners and Cus' 
toms of the several Indian Tribes located west of the 
Mississippi, &c." 

This work, written in a clever style, detailed the 
wonderful life and adventures of the hero, and gave 
a view of the Far West — the country, the animals, 
the plants ; and it described the Indian tribes, their 
numbers, character, customs, &cc. It also gave an 
account of their system of medicine, and their prac- 
tice of surgery. The book was well received, and 
Hunter was borne along upon the full tide of public 

And now, another view was opened to him. It was 
suggested that he should go to England, and publish 
his work there. Taking letters from several men of 
the highest standing, and especially one to the Duke 
of Sussex, from Mr. JefTerson, as we are informed, 
he crossed the Atlantic, and made his appearance in 
the great metropolis. The career upon which he now 
entered, affords a curious piece of history. 

Hunter's letters, of course, secured him the favor 
and kind offices of some of the leading men in Lon- 
don. His book was immediately published and her- 
alded forth by the press, as one of the most remarkable 
productions of the day. The information it contained 
was treated as a revelation of the most interesting 
facts, and the tale of the hero was regarded as sur- 
passing that of Robinson Crusoe, in point of interest. 

Hunter was a man of extraordinary endowments, 
and sustained the part he had to play with wonderful 
consistency. But all this would hardly account for 
his success, without considering another point. In 

HUNTER. 245 

London, as well among the high as the low, there is 
a yearning desire for excitement. Imprisoned in a 
vast city, and denied companionship Avith the thou- 
sand objects which occupy the mind and heart in the 
country, they go about crying, " Who will show us 
any new thing ? " Thus it is, that, in a crowded 
street, there is always a mob ready to collect, like 
vultures to the carcass, around every accident or inci- 
dent that may happen: and- these seem to consist of 
persons who have no profession but to see what is 
going on. 

In high life, this passion for novelty is more refined, 
but it is equally craving. There are thousands in 
the circles of rank and fashion, who, having no busi- 
ness to occupy them, no cares, no sources of hope and 
fear, are like travellers athirst in a desert ; and to 
them, a new scandal, a new fashion, a late joke, a 
strange animal, a queer monster, is an oasis, greatly 
to be coveted. One quality this novelty must have ; 
it must, in some way or other, belong to " good society "• 
— my Lord, or my Lady, must have a finger in it: 
they must, at least, patronize it, so that in naming it, 
the idea of rank may be associated with it. 

Such a new thing was John Dunn Hunter. He 
was, supposing his story to be true, remarkable for 
his adventures. There was something exceedingly 
captivating to the fancy in the idea of a white man, 
who had lived so long with" savages, as to have been 
transformed into a savage himself: b?side, there was a 
mystery about him. Who was his father ? — who his 
mother ? What a tale of romance lay in these preg- 

246 HUNTER. 

nant inquiries, and what a beautiful development 
might yet be in the womb of time ! 

Nor was this all : Hunter, as we have said, was a 
man of talent. Though small and mean in his per- 
sonal appearance, his manner was remarkable, and 
his demeanor befitted his story. He had taken lodg- 
ings in Warwick street, and occupied the very rooms 
which Washington Irving had once inhabited. An- 
other American author, of no mean fame, was his 
fellow-lodger. He held free intercourse with all 
Americans who came to London. He sought their 
society, and, in the height of his power, he loved to 
exercise it in their behalf, and to their advantage. 

In dress. Hunter adopted the simplest garb of a 
gentleman ; in conversation, he was peculiar. He 
said little till excited ; he then spoke rapidly, and 
often as if delivering an oration. He was accustomed 
to inveigh against civilized society, — its luxuries and 
its vices, — and to paint in glowing hues the pleas- 
ures and virtues of savage life. He was very inge- 
nious, and often truly eloquent. It was impossible, 
believing in the genuineness of his character and the 
sincerity of his motives, not to be touched by his wild 

It is easy to see, that such a man, unsuspected, 
introduced into society by the brother of the king, and 
patronized by the heads of the learned societies — 
launched upon the full tide of fashionable society, in 
the world's metropolis, — had a brilliant voyage before 
him. During the winter of 1823-4, Hunter was the 
lion of the patrician circles of London. There was a 
real strife even among countesses, duchesses, and the 


like, to signalize their parties by the presence of this 
interesting wonder. In considering whether to go to 
a ball, a soiree, or a jam, the deciding point of inquiry 
was, " Will Hunter be there ? "—If so, " Yes."~lf 
not, " No ! " 

Nothing could be more curious than to see this 
singular man, in the midst of a gorgeous party, where 
diamonds flashed and titles hung on every individual 
around him. He seemed totally indifferent to the 
scene ; or, at least, unobservant of the splendors that 
encircled him. He was the special object of regard 
to the ladies. There was something quite piquant 
in his indifference. He seemed not to acknowledge 
the flatteries, that fell like showers of roses, and that 
too from the ruby lips and lustrous eyes of princes' 
daughters, thick upon him. He seldom sat down : 
he stood erect, and, even when encircled by ladies, 
gazed a little upward, and over them. He often an- 
swered a question without looking at the querist. 
Sometimes, though quite rarely, he was roused, and 
delivered a kind of speech. It was a great thing, if 
the oracle would but hold forth ! The lass or lady 
who chanced to hear this, was but too happy. The 
burden of the oration was always nearly the same : — 
the advantages of simple savage life over civiliza- 
tion. It was strange to see those who were living on 
the pinnacle of artificial society, intoxicated with such 
a theme ; yet, such was the art of the juggler, that 
even their fancy was captivated. Those who had 
been bred in the downy lap of luxury, were charmed 
with tales of the hardy chase and deadly encounter ; 
those to whom the artifices of dress constituted more 

248 HUNTER. 

than half the pleasures of existence, delighted to dwell 
upon the simplicity of forest attire : those who gloried 
in the splendors of a city mansion, — halls, boudoirs, 
saloons, and conservatories, — thought how charming 
it would be to dwell beneath the wide canopy, or a 
deer-skin tent ! Surely, such, triumphs display the 
skill and power of a master. 

During the winter of which we speak. Hunter's 
card-rack was crowded with cards, notes, and invita- 
tions; from lords and ladies of the very highest rank 
and fashion, in London. Many a fair hand indited 
and sent billets to him, that would have turned some 
loftier heads than his. On one occasion, by some 
accident, he had dislocated his shoulder. The next 
morning. Dr. Petingale, surgeon to the Duke of Sus- 
sex, called to see him, by command of his Grace, and 
delivered to him a long note of consolation. This 
note, from his Royal Highness, was somewhat in the 
style of Hannah More, and kindly suggested all the 
topics of comfort proper to such an hour of tribulation. 

Hunter did not spend his whole time in fashionable 
dissipation. He visited the various institutions of 
London, and often with persons of the highest rank. 
He fell in with Robert Owen, of Lanarck, who had 
not yet been pronounced mad, and the two characters 
seemed greatly delighted with each other. Hunter 
seemed interested in the subject of education, and 
made this a frequent topic of discussion. He visited 
the infant school of Wilderspin, consisting of two hun- 
dred scholars, all of the lower classes. When he 
heard forty of these children, under three years of 
age, unite in singing " God save the King," his heart 



was evidently touched, and the tears gathered in his 
eyes. It is not one of the least curious facts in his 
history, that he patronized his countrymen, and was 
the means of establishing a portrait painter from Ken- 
tucky, in his profession. He induced the Duke of 
Sussex, with whom he regularly dined once a week, 
to sit for him : the portrait was exhibited at Somerset 
House, and our artist was at once famous. 

Hunter now took a tour to Scotland. In his way, 
he spent some weeks with Mr. Coke, of Norfolk, and 
experienced the noble hospitalities of that truly noble 
gentleman. He passed on to Scotland, where he 
excited a deep interest among such persons as the 
Duke of Hamilton, Sir Walter Scott, Mr. Jeffrey, 
and others of the highest eminence. The ladies, also, 
manifested the very liveliest sensations in his behalf. 
• During his stay in Scotland, he was invited to spend 
a few days at a charming seat, in the vicinity of 
Edinburgh. Thither he went. One day, as he was 
walking in the park with a fair lady, daughter of the 
proprietor, they came to an open space, through which 
a bright stream was running. At a particular point, 
and near the path of the ramblers, was a large rock, 
at the base of which the rivulet swept round, forming 
a small eddying pool. Over this the wild shrubs had 
gathered, growing luxuriously, as if escaped from the 
restraints of culture. Hunter paused, folded his arms, 
and gazed at the picturesque group of rock, shrub, 
and stream. The lady looked at him with interest. 
She hesitated, then gathered courage, and asked what 
it was that so moved him. 

" Nothing ! nothing ! " said he, half starting, and 

250 HUNTER. 

passing" on. " Nay, nay," said the fair one, " you 
must tell me." " Well, if I must," was the reply, " I 
must. You may think it foolish, yet such is the 
truth, — that little pool, gathered in the shelter of the 
rock and briar, reminds me of early days — of my 
childhood, and the forest. Past memories come over 
my bosom, like upon the snow; I think 
how I have often stooped at such a stream as this, 
and quenched my thirst, with a relish nothing can 
now bestow. I feel an emotion I can hardly resist ; 
it seems to call me from these scenes, this volup- 
tuous, yet idle life. I have a sense of wrong, of 
duty neglected, of happiness missed, which makes me 
sad even in such a place as this, and with society like 

By this time Hunter had framed a design, either 
real or pretended, of doing some great thing for the 
Indians. He insisted that the attempt to civilize them 
at once, was i^le and fallacious ; he proposed, there- 
fore, to select some spot along the banks of the Wa- 
bash, and which he represented as a wild kind of 
paradise, and here he would gather the Indians, and, 
adopting a system which might blend the life of the 
hunter with that of the cultivator, wile them gradually, 
and without shocking their prejudices, into civiliza- 
tion. This scheme he set forth as the great object of 
his wishes. He spoke of it frequently, and in Edin- 
burgh, especially, delighted his hearers with his enthu- 
siastic eloquence in dilating upon the subject. No 
one suspected his sincerity, and the greatest men in 
Scotland avowed and felt the deepest interest in his 


The summer came, and Hunter went back to Lon- 
don. He now announced his intention to return to 
America : still, he lingered for several months. His 
friends noticed that he was dejected, yet he assigned 
no cause for this. Presents were made to him, and 
hints of assistance, to further his scheme of Indian 
civilization, were suggested. He availed himself of 
none of these advantages, save that he accepted a 
watch, richly jewelled, from the Duke of Sussex, and 
a splendid set of mathematical instruments, from Mr. 
Coke, of Norfolk. He also borrowed a hundred 
pounds of a friend. He took his farewell of London, 
and bearing with him the best wishes of all who had 
known him on that side of the Atlantic, he embarked 
at Liverpool for America. 

Immediately after his arrival, he hastened to the 
south, spent a few days at New Orleans, and pushed 
into the wilds bordering upon Texas. In some way, 
he excited the jealousy of the Indians, who resolved 
to take his life. On a journey through the wilder- 
ness, he was attended by an Indian guide. Having 
occasion to pass a river, he stopped a moment in the 
middle of it, to let his horse drink. The guide was 
behind : obedient to his orders, he lifted his carbine, 
and shot Hunter through the back. He fell, a lifeless 
corpse, into the stream, and was borne away, as little 
heeded as a forest leaf. 

Such are the facts, as we have been able to gather 
them, in respect to this remarkable man. The writer 
of this article saw him in London, and the incidents 
related of him while he was in England and Scot- 
land, are stated upon personal knowledge. The events 

252 HUNTER. 

subsequent to his departure are derived from current 
rumor. The question has often been asked, What 
was the real character of John Dunn Hunter ? That 
he was, to some extent, an impostor, can hardly be 
doubted. Mr. Duponceau, of Philadelphia, examined 
into some Indian words which Hunter had given him, 
and found them to be fabrications. Mr. John Dunn, 
of Missouri, mentioned by Hunter as his friend and 
benefactor, was written to, and he declared that he had 
known no such person. These facts, with others, were 
laid before the public in the North American Review, 
and were regarded as fatal to the character of Hunter. 
The common judgment has been, that he was wholly 
an impostor ; we incline, however, to a different opin- 

We believe that the story of his early life, was, in 
the main, correct ;^ that he did not originally intend 
any deception ; that he came to New York with hon- 
est intentions, but that the flatteries he received led 
him by degrees to expand his views, and finally drew 
him into a deliberate career of fraud. So long as he 
was in the tide of prosperity abroad, he did not seem 
to reflect, and glided down contented with the stream : 
when the time came that he must return, his real sit- 
uation presented itself, and weighed upon his spirits. 
It is to be remarked, however, that, even in this con- 
dition, he availed himself of no opportunities to amass 
money, which he might have done to the amount of 

* We have been informed that Mr. Catlin, in his excursions 
among the western Indians, often met with tribes who had 
known Hunter, and their accounts corroborated that which the 
latter gave in his book. 



thousands. These facts, at war with the supposition 
that he was a mere impostor, seem to show that he 
had still some principle of honor left, and some hope 
as to his future career. At all events, he was a man 
of extraordinary address, and his story shows how 
high a course of duplicity may elevate a man, yet only 
to hurl him down the farther and the more fatally, 
upon the sharp rocks of retribution. 



In the year 182S, a great sensation was created 
throughout the civilized world, by the story of Casper 
Hauser. This, as it appears, was in substance as 
follows : — 

On the 20th May, in the year above named, as a 
citizen of Nuremburg, in Bavaria, was proceeding 
along one of the streets, he happened to see a young 
man in the dress of a peasant, who was standing like 


one intoxicated, attempting to move forward, yet 
appearing hardly to have command of his legs. On 
the approach of the citizen, this stranger held out to 
him a letter directed to a well-known and respectable 
military officer, living in Nuremburg. 

As the house of this person lay in the direction of 
the citizen's walk, he took the youth thither with 
him. When the servant opened the door, the stran- 
ger put the letter into his hand, uttering some unin- 
telligible words. The various questions which were 
asked, as to his name, whence he came, &c., he seem- 
ed not to comprehend. He appeared excessively 
fatigued, staggered as if exhausted, and pointed to his 
feet, shedding tears, apparently from pain. As he 
seemed to be suffering from hunger, a piece of meat 
was given to him, but scarcely had he tasted it, when 
he spat it out, and shuddered as if with abhorrence. 
He manifested the same aversion to beer. He ate 
some bread and drank water, with signs of satisfac- 

Meantime, all attempts to gain any information from 
him were fruitless. To every question he answered 
with the same unintelligible jargon. He seemed to 
hear without understanding, and to see without per- 
ceiving. He shed many tears, and his whole lan- 
guage seemed to consist of moans and unintelligible 

The letter to the officer, above mentioned, contained 
no satisfactory information. It stated that the writer 
was a poor day-laborer, with a family of ten children ; 
that the bearer had been left with him in October, 3812, 
and he had never since been suffered to leave his house: 


that he had received a Christian education, been bap- 
tized, &;c. He was sent to the officer with the request 
that he might be taken care of till seventeen years 
old, and then be made- a trooper, and placed in the 
sixth regiment, as his father had been of that corps. 
This letter was supposed, of course, to be designed to 
mislead, and no reliance was placed upon it. 

The officer, suspecting some imposition, sent the 
stranger to the police. To all inquiries the latter 
replied as before, displaying a kind of childish sim- 
plicity, and awkward dulness. He was continually 
whimpering, and pointing to his feet. While he had 
the size of a young man, his face had the expression 
of a child. When writing materials were placed 
before him, he took the pen with alacrity, and wrote 
Kaspar Hauser. This so contrasted with his previous 
signs of ignorance and dulness, as to excite suspicions 
of imposture, and he was therefore committed to a 
tower used for the confinement of rogues and vaga- 
bonds. In going to this place, he sank down, groan- 
ing at every step. 

The body of Caspar seemed perfectly formed, but 
his face bore a decided aspect of vulgarity. When 
in a state of tranquillity, it was either destitute of 
expression, or had a look of brutish indifference. 
The formation of his face, however, changed in a few 
months, and rapidly gained in expression and anima- 
tion. His feet bore no marks of having been confined 
by shoes, and were finely formed ; the soles were soft 
as. the palms of his hands. His gait was a waddling, 
tottering progress, groping with his hands as he went, 
and often falling at the slightest impediment. He 


could not, for a long time, go up and down stairs 
without assistance. He used his hands with the 
greatest awkwardness. In all these respects, how- 
ever, he rapidly improved. 

Caspar Hauser soon ceased to be considered either 
an idiot or an impostor. The mildness, good nature, 
and obedience he displayed, precluded the idea that 
he had grown up with the beasts of the forest. Yet 
he was destitute of words, and seemed to be disgusted 
with most of the customs and habits of civilized life. 
All the circumstances combined to create a belief that 
he had been brought up in a state of complete impris- 
onment and seclusion, during the previous part of his 

He now became an object of general interest, and 
hundreds of persons came to see him. He could be 
persuaded to taste no other food than bread and 
water. Even the smell of most articles of food was 
sufficient to make him shudder. When he first saw 
a lighted candle, he appeared greatly delighted, and 
unsuspectingly put his fingers into the blaze. When 
a mirror was shown him, he looked behind to find 
the image it reflected. Like a child, he greedily 
reached for every glittering object, and cried when 
any desired thing was denied him. His whole vocab- 
ulary seemed hardly to exceed a dozen words, and 
that of ross (horse) answered for all quadrupeds, such 
as horses, dogs, and cats. When, at length, a wood- 
en horse was given as a plaything, it seemed to effect 
a great change in him ; his spirits revived, and his 
lethargy and indifl^erence were dissipated. He would 


never eat or drink without first offering a portion to 
his horse. 

His powers seemed now to be rapidly developed ; 
he soon quitted his toy, and learned to ride the living 
horse with astonishing rapidity. He, however, was 
greatly oppressed, as he acquired knowledge, at dis- 
covering how much inferior he was in knowledge to 
those around him, and this led him to express the 
wish that he could go back to the hole in which he 
had always been confined. From his repeated state- 
ments, now that he had learned to speak, it appeared 
that he had been, from his earliest recollections, con- 
fined in a narrow space, his legs extended forward 
upon the floor, and his body upright ; and here, with- 
out light, and without the power of locomotion, he 
had remained for years. The date or period of his 
confinement he knew not, for in his dungeon there 
was no sunrise or sunset, to mark the lapse of time. 
When he awoke from sleep, he found some bread 
and water at his side ; but who ministered to his 
wants, he knew not ; he never saw the face of his 
attendant, who never spoke to him, except in some 
unintelligible jargon. In his hole he had two wooden 
horses and some ribands as toys — and these afforded 
him his only amusement. One day had passed as 
another ; he had no dreams ; time run on, and life 
ebbed and flowed, with a dull and almost unconscious 
movement. After a time his keeper gave him a pen- 
cil, of which he learned the use ; he was then par- 
tially taught to walk, and shortly after, was carried 
from his prison, a letter put into his hand, and he was 


left, as the beginning of our story finds him, in the 
streets of Nuremburg. 

The journals were now filled with accounts of this 
mysterious young man. A suspicion was at last 
started that he was of high birth, and that important 
motives had led to the singular treatment he had re- 
ceived. He was himself haunted with the fear of 
assassination, from the idea that the circumstances 
which led to his incarceration, now that his story was 
known, might tempt his enemies to put a period to 
his life — thus seeking at once the removal of a hated 
object, and security against detection. His fears 
were at last partially realized ; while he was under 
the care and protection of Professor Daumer, he was 
attacked and seriously wounded by a blow upon the 

After this event. Earl Stanhope, who happened to 
be in that part of Germany, caused him to be remov- 
ed to Anspach, where he was placed under the care 
of an able schoolmaster. Here his fears subsided; 
but in December, 1833, a stranger, wrapped in a large 
cloak, accosted him, under the pretence of having an 
important communication to make, and proposed a 
meeting. Caspar agreed, and they met in the palace 
garden, alone. The stranger drew some papers from 
beneath his cloak, and while Hauser was examining 
them, the ruffian stabbed him in the region of the 
heart. The wound did not prove immediately fatal. 
He was able to return home, and relate what had 
happened. Messengers were sent in pursuit of the 
assassin, but in vain. Hauser lingered three or foui 
days — that is, till the 17th December, 1833, when he 


died. On dissection, it appeared that the knife had 
pierced to the heart, making an incision in its outer 
covering, and slightly cutting both the liver and stom- 
ach. A reward of five thousand florins was offered 
by Lord Stanhope, for the discovery of the assassin, 
but without effect — nor was the mystery which in- 
volved Caspar's story ever fully unravelled. 

Such was the tale of this extraordinary individual, 
as it appeared a few years ago. Since that period, 
the facts in the case have been carefully sifted, and 
the result is a settled conviction, that Hauser was an 
impostor ; that the story of his confinement was a 
fabrication; that his pretended ignorance, his stupid- 
ity, his childishness, were but skilful acting to enforce 
his story ; and, strange as it may appear, there is no 
good reason to doubt that the wounds he received, in 
both instances, were inflicted by himself. Such were 
the deliberate convictions of Earl Stanhope, and oth- 
ers who investigated the facts on the spot, and with 
the best advantages for the discovery of the truth. 
Caspar's motive for wounding himself doubtless was, 
to revive the flagging interest of the public in his 
behalf — a source of excitement he had so long enjoy- 
ed, as to feel unhappy without it. In the latter in- 
stance, he doubtless inflicted a severer wound than 
he intended, and thus put an undesigned period to his 

His story presents one of the most successful in- 
stances of imposture, on record. It appears probable 
that he was aided in his imposition by the narrative 
of Fuerbach, one of the judges of Bavaria, who 
adopted some theory on the subject, which he sup- 


ported with gross, though perhaps undesigned mis- 
representation. He published an interesting account 
of Hauser, in which he rather colored and exagger- 
ated the facts, thus making the narrative far more 
wonderful than the reality would warrant. It was, 
doubtless, owing to these statements of Fuerbach, that 
an extraordinary interest in the case was everywhere 
excited ; and it is highly probable that Hauser him- 
self was encouraged to deeper and more extended 
duplicity, by the aid which the mistaken credulity of 
the judge afforded him, than, at first, he had med- 
itated. He probably looked with surprise and wonder 
at the success of his trick, and marvelled at seeing 
himself suddenly converted from a poor German me- 
chanic, as he doubtless was, into a prodigy and a 
hero — exciting a sensation throughout the four quar- 
ters of the globe. The whole story affords a good 
illustration of the folly of permitting the imagination 
to lead us in the investigation of facts, and the ex- 
tended impositions that may flow from the want of 
exact and scrupulous veracity in a magistrate. 


George Psalmanazar was born about the year 
1679. All that we know of his early history is from 
his own memoirs, which were published after his 
death; but they do not tell us his true name, nor that 
of his native country, though it is generally believed 
that he was born in the south of France. His edu- 
cation was excellent, probably obtained in some of the 
colleges of the Jesuits. 

At an early period, he became a wandering adven- 
turer, sometimes passing himself off as a pilgrim, then 
as a Japanese, and then as a native of Formosa — a 
large island lying to the east of China, and subject 
to that country. His extensive learning and various 
knowledge enabled him to sustain these and other 
disguises. Thus he travelled over several parts of 
Europe, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. He 
was by turns a soldier, a beggar, a menial, a monk ; 
a preceptor, a Christian, a heathen, a man of all trades. 
At last, he came to Liege in Belgium, pretending to 
be a Formosan, converted to Christianity. Here he 
became acquamted with the chaplain of an English 
regiment, and wa§ solemnly baptized. 

He now went to London, and was kindly received 


by Bishop Compton, who gave him entertainment in 
his own house, and treated him with the utmost con- 
fidence. His great abilities and extraordinary story, 
seconded by the patronage of the bishop of London, 
gave him immediate currency with literary men, and 
he soon became the wonder of the day. 

Psalmanazar played his part to admiration. He 
shunned, rather than sought, the notice of the public, 
and, avoiding meat, lived chiefly on fruits, and a sim- 
ple vegetable diet. At the same time, he appeared 
to display the Christian characteristics, and devoted 
himself to study. He began to prepare a grammar 
of the Formosan language, which he finally completed. 
This was, of course, a fiction, yet he proceeded to 
translate the Church Catechism into this fabricated 
tongue. He finally wrote an extensive history of 
Formosa, which was also a fable ; yet such was the 
reputation of the author, that it was received with 
general confidence, and speedily passed through sev- 
eral editions. 

During this period, he had been sent to study at 
Oxford, where a controversy was carried on between 
his patrons, and Dr. Halley, Dr. Mead, and some 
others, in respect to his pretensions. Certain dis- 
crepancies were at last detected in his history of For- 
m.osa, and, in the result, Psalmanazar was completely 
exposed, and finally confessed his imposture. Soon 
after this, a moral change took place in him : he grew 
ashamed of his dishonorable courses, and determined 
to reform. He applied himself intensely to study, 
and, after a time, became engaged in Jiterary pursuits, 
by which he earned an honest subsistence, and con- 


siderable reputation during the rest of his life. He 
died in London, in 1753. 

He wrote for the large work, styled the Universal 
History, most of the parts concerning ancient history, 
except that of Rome, and his writings met with great 
success. He wrote a volume of essays on several 
scriptural subjects, a version of the Psalms, beside his 
own memoirs, already mentioned. He also wrote for 
the " Complete System of Geography," an article on 
the Island of Formosa, founded upon authentic infor- 
mation, as a reparation for the stories which he had 
palmed upon the public in his former account. 

Psalmanazar is the name that he had assumed 
when he began his wandering life, and which he re- 
tained till his death. Of the sincerity of his piety, 
there can be no doubt. Dr. Johnson said that he 
never witnessed a more beautiful example of humility, 
and tranquil resignation, combined with an active dis- 
charge of duty, than was displayed bv him during 
the latter portion of his life ! 


This person, renowned in the annals of quackery, 
was born at Affane, in Ireland, in 1628. He received 
a good education at the classical free school of that 
town, and was preparing to enter Trinity College, 
Dublin, when the rebellion broke out, and his mother, 
with a family of several children, was obliged to fly 
to England for refuge. 

Some years after, Valentine returned, but was so 
affected by the wretched state of his country, and the 


scenes of misery that were Avitnessed on every hand, 
that he shut himself up for a whole year, spending 
his time in moody contemplations. He afterwards 
became a lieutenant in the army, but in 1656, he 
retired to his estate in Affane, where he was appointed 
justice of the peace for the county of Cork. 

Greatrakes was now married, and appears to have 
held a respectable station in society, jllbout the year 
1662, he began to conceive himself possessed of an 
extraordinary power of removing scrofula, or king's 
evil, by means of touching or stroking the parts af- 
fected, with his hands. This imagination he con- 
cealed for some time, but, at last, revealed it to his 
wife, who ridiculed the idea. 

Having resolved, however, to make the trial, he 
began wiih one William Maher, who was brought to 
the house by his father, for the purpose of receiving 
some assistance from Mrs. Greatrakes, a lady who 
was always ready to relieve the sick and indigent, as 
far as lay in her power. This boy was sorely afflicted 
with the king's evil, but was to all appearance cured 
by Mr. Greatrakes' laying his hand on the parts 
affected. Several other persons having applied to 
him, to be cured, in the same manner, of different dis- 
orders, his efforts' seemed to be attended with success, 
and he acquired considerable fame in his neighbor- 

His reputation now increased, and he was induced 
to go to England, where he gained great celebrity by 
his supposed cures. Several pamphlets were issued 
upon the subject ; it being maintamed by some that 
Greatrakes possessed a sanative quality inherent in 



his constitution ; by others, that his cures were mirac- 
ulous ; and by others still, that they were produced 
merely by the force of imagination. The reality of 
the cures seemed to be admitted, and the reputation 
of the operator rose to a prodigious height ; but, after 
a brief period, it rapidly declined, and the public be- 
came convinced that the whole excitement was the 
result of illusion. Greatrakes, himself, possessed a 
high character for humility, virtue and piety, and was 
doubtless the dupe of his own bewildered fancy. He 
died in 1680, having afforded tjtxe world a striking 
caution not to mistake recovery tor cure, and not to 
yield to imagination and popular delusion, especially 
in respect to the pretended cure of diseases. 


About 250 years ago, the reality of witchcraft was 
very generally admitted throughout Europe. The 
belief in the active agency of the Spirit of Evil in 
human affairs, had existed among Christians from the 
earliest period, and the legends of saints, their trials 
and temptations, in which the devil plays so important 
a part, served to extend and confirm these popular 
notions. At last, the direct agency of diabolical 
powers, and its open manifestation, was assumed, and, 


at the period of which we speak, was held to be a 
point of Christian faith. The pious Baxter consid- 
ered the disbelief of witchcraft as equivalent to infi- 
delity; the just and sagacious Sir Matthew Hale 
admitted its reality, and pronounced sentence against 
those who were convicted of it ; and, alas ! the 
pedantic king, James I. of England, wrote a book 
entitled, " Doemonologia, or a Discourse on Witch- 

The purpose of this work was to prove the reality 
of witchcraft, its prevalence among mankind, its great 
enormity, and the means of its detection and punish- 
ment. Its effect was to extend the belief in witch- 
craft, and, of course, to multiply the apparent instances 
of its existence. The insane fancies of diseased 
minds, unusual phenomena of nature, and the artful 
machinery of designing malignity, ambition, or hy- 
pocrisy, w^ere all laid at Satan's door. Of the horrors 
that followed, history furnishes a melancholy account. 
It is supposed that 30,000 persons were executed in 
England, from the year 1500 to 1722. The same 
dreadful delusion prevailed in other parts of Europe, 
and extended in due time to this country, and about 
the year 1692, twenty persons were executed in Sa- 
lem, Massachusetts, for the crime of witchcraft. 

During the period in which this fearful mania was 
prevalent in England, Matthew Hopkins, denomin- 
ated Witch-Finder General, acted a conspicuous part. 
He pretended to be a great critic in special marks or 
signs of witchcraft. Moles, warts, scorbutic spots, 
were in his eyes teats to suckle imps, and were suffi- 
cient evidences to bring a victim to the halter. He 



was assisted by one John Stern, a kindred genius, 
and in the year 1644, 5 and 6, they brought a great 
number of poor wretches to the fatal tree. Matthew, 
himself, hung in one year no less than sixty reputed 
witches of his own county of Essex. He received 
twenty shillings a head from the public authorities 
for every witch he discovered. The old, the ignorant, 
and the indigent, — such as could neither plead their 
own cause nor hire an advocate, were the miserable 
victims of his credulity, avarice, and spleen. 

When other evidences of guilt were wanting, Hop- 
kins adopted the trial by water, which had been sug- 
gested by king James, who remarks that " as some 
persons have i^ounced their baptism by water, so 
water refuses to receive them." Those accused of 
diabolical practices, therefore, were thrown into a 
pond. If they floated or swam, according to king 
James' notion the water refused to receive them, and 
they were therefore guilty. These were consequently 
taken out and burnt, or hung. If they were innocent, 
they sunk, and were only dro\vned. 

Suspicion was at last turned against Hopkins him- 
self, and the ordeal of swimming was applied in his 
own case. In consequence of this experiment, he 
was convicted and executed as a wizard. An allusion 
to this extraordinary character is made in the third 
canto of Hudibras, who says. 

Has not the present parliament 

A lodger to the devil sent, 

Fully empowered to treat about 

Finding revolted witches out ? 

And has he not within a year 

Hanged threescore of them in one shire ? 


On the continent of Europe, portions of which are 
interspersed with vast forests and uncultivated tracts, 
various individuals of the human species have, at 
different times, been discovered in a state no better 
than that of the brute creation. One of the most 
singular of these unfortunate creatures was Peter the 


Wild Boy, whose origin and history, previous to his 
discovery, must remain forever a secret. He was 
found in the year 1725, in the woods, about twenty- 
five miles from Hanover, in Germany. He walked on 
all fours, climbed trees like a squirrel, and fed on grass 
and moss. 

When he was taken, he was about thirteen years 
old, and could not speak. He soon made his escape 
into the woods, where he concealed himself amid the 
branches of a tree, which was sawed down to recover 
him. He was brought over to England, in the year 
1726, and exhibited to the king and many of the 
nobility. He received the title of Peter the Wild Boy, 
which name he ever afterwards retained. 

He appeared to have scarcely any ideas, was un- 
easy at being obliged to wear clothes, and could not 
be induced to lie in a bed, but sat and slept in a cor- 
ner of a room, whence it was conjectured that he used 
to sleep on a tree for security against wild beasts. 
He was committed to the care of Dr. Arbuthnot, at 
whose house he was to have been baptized ; but, not- 
withstanding all the doctor's pains, he never could 
bring the wild youth to the use of speech, or the pro- 
nunciation of more than a very few words. As every 
effort to give him an education was found to be vain, he 
was placed with a farmer at a small distance from 
London, and a pension was allowed him by the king, 
which he enjoyed till his death, which occurred in 
1785, at the age of about seventy-three years. 

Peter was low of stature, and always wore his beard. 
He occasionally wandered away from his place of 
residence, but either returned or was brouo^ht back. 



He was never mischievous ; was remarkable for his 
strength; became fond of finery and dress, and at last, 
was taught to love beer and gin. He was a lover of 
music, and acquired several tunes. He also became 
able to count as far as twenty, and could answer a 
few simple questions. He learned to eat the food of 
the family where he lived, but in his excursions, he 
subsisted upon raw herbag-e, berries and roots of 
young trees. He was evidently not an idiot, but 
seemed to continue in a state of mental infancy, 
thinking of little beyond his physical wants, and 
never being able to conceive of the existence of a 


It is well for every person to be apprized of the 
fact, that, in all ages and all countries, there are reli- 
gious enthusiasts, who, having- given themselves up 
to heated imaginations, lose the power of judging 
according to truth and reason upon this particular 
subject. They see things by a false vision, and are 
not only deluded but they often delude others 


These persons are monomaniacs — insane upon the 
subject of religion, though often sane upon all others. 

It appears that every person is liable to this species 
of delusion, if he gives up the reins to his fancy, and 
ceases to be guided by common sense ; and the fre- 
quency of such occurrences shows that this liability 
is by no means remote. In a recent case, a man by 
the name of Elijah Thayer, a native of Massachu- 
setts, conceived the idea that the present dispensation 
was speedily to pass away, and that the second com- 
ing of Christ was to be realized in his own person. 

Believing himself to be commanded by God to an- 
nounce this event to the great powers of England, 
Rome, and Jerusalem, he took passage in the steamer 
Britannia, in September, 1842, and proceeded upon his 
mission. He w^as a common laborer, bat he possessed 
a good deal of knowledge, especially of the Bible. 
He was rational and sagacious upon all subjects except 
that of his peculiar religious views ; and even in 
maintaining these, he displayed much skill, and was 
singularly dexterous in the quoting of Scripture. 

Soon after his arrival, he proceeded to Wind- 
sor, where Queen Victoria was then residing. He 
made application for an interview with her majesty, 
saying that he had a most important communication 
to make to her. Being requested to state the sub- 
stance of it, he sent her word that Elijah Thayer, 
the prophet of God, had come, by the command of the 
Most High, to announce a mighty change, which was 
speedily to take place throughout the universe. The 
present system of things was to pass away ; crowns, 
thrones and sceptres were to be trampled in the dust ; 


kings and queens were to be reduced to the level of 
common mortals ; universal equality was to be estab- 
lished among mankind ; an era of peace was to begin, 
and he himself, Elijah Thayer, passing from the pro- 
phetic to the kingly state, was to reign in righteous- 
ness over the earth as Christ himself. 

This message was delivered by Elijah, in his fur 
cap, and his long-skirted blue coat, with a perfectly 
sober face, to the queen's servants at Windsor Castle. 
These received the extraordinary tidings with de- 
corous politeness, promised faithfully to deliver the 
message, and the prophet, well satisfied, went his way. 
He now proceeded to London, and visited the several 
Jewish synagogues, announcing to the high priests his 
wonderful mission. The last we heard of him, he 
was preparing to make his way to Rome, in fulfilment 
of his insane project. 

It would be easy to add numerous instances of sim- 
ilar delusion. In 1790, an Englishman, by the name 
of Richard Brothers, announced that he had a mission 
for the restoration of the Jews and to make Jerusa- 
lem the capital of the world. He said that he was 
commanded to notify the king, the lords and the 
commons of the same, which he did in a manner so 
obstreperous, that he was lodged in Newgate prison. 

Roger North gives us an account of one John Kel- 
sey, a Quaker, who, about the year 1680, " went on 
a sort of pilgrimage to Constantinople, for converting 
the Great Turk ; and the first scene of his action was 
standing up in a corner of the street, and preaching 
to the people. They stared at him, and concluding 
him to be cut of his wits, he was taken and carried 


to the madhouse ; there he lay six months. At last, 
some of the keepers heard him speak the word Eng- 
lish, and told of it so that it came to the ambassador, 
Lord Winchelsea's ear, that he had a subject in the 

" His lordship sent and had him at his house. The 
fellow stood before the ambassador, with a dirty, rag- 
ged hat on, and would not put it off, though he was 
so charged and admonished ; thereupon the ambassa- 
dor ordered him down, and had him drubbed upon 
the feet, after the Turkish manner. Then he was 
anything and would do anything, and afterwards did 
own that that drubbing had a great effect upon his 

" Upon searching him, there was found in his 
pouch, among a few beans, a letter to the Grand Sig- 
nior, very long and canting; but the substance was to 
let him know that he was the scourge in God's hand 
with which he chastised the wicked Christians ; and 
now, their wickedness was so great, that God, by the 
spirit, had sent him, to let him know that he must 
come forthwith to scourge them. 

" He was sent for England, but got off by the way, 
and came up a second time to Constantinople, from 
whence he was more surely conveyed ; and some that 
knew John, told Sir Dudley North that they had seen 
him on the Exchange, where he recognised the ad- 
mirable virtue of Turkish drubbing." 


This eccentric character was born in 1693, at Bick- 
ley, in Devonshire, of which place his father was 
many years rector. Being descended from an ancient 
and honorable family, he was educated agreeably to 
his condition. At the age of twelve, he was sent to 
the Tiverton school, where his good behavior led his 
friends to hope that he might some day shine in the 
clerical profession. But the Tiverton scholars hav- 
ing at their command a fine pack of hounds, Carew, 
and two or three of his companions, devoted them- 
selves more to hunting than study. 

One day they engaged in the chase of a deer, just 
before the commencement of harvest. The animal 
took his course through the fields of grain, and the 

CAREW. 279' 

young sportsmen, with their hounds, followed, reck- 
less of the damage that was done. The mischief was 
so considerable, that the proprietors complained to the 
school-master. Carew and his companions were so 
much frightened, that they absconded, and joined a 
gang of gipsies, who happened to be in the neighbor- 
hood. This society consisted of about eighteen per- 
sons of both sexes, who carried with them such an air 
of mirth and gaiety, that the youngsters were quite 
delighted with their company, and, expressing an 
inclination to enter into their society, the gipsies 
admitted them, after the performance of the requisite 
ceremonies and the administration of the customary- 

Young Carew was speedily initiated into all the 
arts of the wandering tribe, for which he seemed to 
have a happy genius. His parents, meanwhile, la- 
mented him as one that was no more, for, though they 
had repeatedly advertised his name and person, they 
could not obtain the least intelligence of him. At 
length, after an interval of a year and a half, hearing 
of their grief and repeated inquiries after him, his 
heart relented, and he returned to Bickley. Being 
greatly disguised, both in dress and appearance, he 
was not known at first by his parents; but when he 
discovered himself, a scene followed which no words 
can describe, and there were great rejoicings, both in 
Bickley and the neighboring parish of Cadley. 

Everything was done to render his home agreea- 
ble ; but Carew had contracted such a fondness for the 
society of the gipsies, that, after various ineffectual 
struggles with the suggestions of filial piety, he once 

280 CAREW. 

more eloped to his former connections, and soon gave 
new proofs of his aptitude for their peculiar calling. 

Having remained with the gipsies for some time, 
he left them, and proceeded on a voyage to New- 
foundland. He soon returned, and, landing at New- 
castle, eloped with a young lady, the daughter of an 
eminent apothecary of that town. Proceeding to 
Bath, they were married, and paid a visit to Carew's 
uncle, a distinguished clergyman of Dorchester. He 
received them with great kindness, and endeavored 
to persuade his nephew to take a final leave of his 
gipsey life. This, however, proved vain, for Carew 
soon returned to that vagrant community, w4th whom 
he spent the remainder of his days. 

He now led an adventurous career, seeming to be 
guided more by the humor of enterprise than the love 
of gain. His art in transforming his person so as to 
represent various characters, extorted from the gipsies 
themselves the greatest applause, and, at last, when 
Clause Patch, their king, died, Carew had the honor 
of being elected in his stead. 

Though his character was known, he was rather a 
favorite with many persons of good standing, and was 
on one occasion invited to spend several days in hunt- 
ing with Colonel Strangeways, at Milbury. The 
conversation happened one day, at dinner, to turn on 
Carew's ingenuity, and the colonel remarked that he 
would defy him to practise deception on him. The 
next day, while the colonel was out with his hounds, 
he met with a miserable object upon a pair of crutches, 
with a wound in his thigh, a coat of rags, and a ven- 
erable, pity-moving beard. His countenance ex- 



pressed pain and sorrow, and as the colonel stopped 
to gaze upon him, the tears trickled down his silver 
beard. As the colonel was not proof against such 
an affecting sight, he threw him half a crown, and 
passed on. While he was at dinner, the miserable 
object came in, when lo, it was Carev/ himself! 

The life of this singular man has afforded mate- 
rials for a volume. His friends in vain offered to 
provide him with a respectable maintenance ; no en- 
treaty could prevail upon him to abandon the kind of 
life he had adopted. He spent about forty years with 
gipsies and beggars, and died in 1770, aged 77. 


A MONOMANIAC is generally made by dwelling for a 
long period upon one object with intense interest, to 
the exclusion of others. By this process, this one ob- 
ject at last occupies the whole soul, fills the entire 
vision, and makes the mind blind to the relative im- 
portance of other things. A man in this condition 
is insane, and resembles the bedlamite, who, being- 
asked why he was confined, replied, " I thought the 
world mad, and the world thought me mad, and they 


outvoted me ! " While the world, guided by common 
sense, assigns to each subject its relative importance, 
the monomaniac we have imagined, sees but one 
thing, his own hobby, and pronounces mankind mad 
because they do not agree with him. 

There are a thousand forms and shades of this 
insanity ; one of the most common is displayed by the 
miser, who has dwelt so long and* so intently upon 
the acquisition of money, that money becomes his 
idol : he thinks it the supreme good : he has a mad 
delight in amassing it : his eagerness to increase his 
store, quenches the lights of the soul — pity, benevo- 
lence, charity, and mercy ; he is beset by a horrid 
fear of its being taken from him ; and, as age creeps 
on and weakens his powers of body and mind, the 
demon of avarice takes possession of the bosom, and, 
putting out the light of reason, holds its revel in dark- 
ness and fear, till death closes the scene. 

Of misers, history has furnished us a long list. We 
are told of M. Osterwald, a wealthy banker of Paris, 
who died in 1790, of want, yet leaving an estate of 
600,000 dollars I When he began life, and bought a 
bottle of beer for his dinner, he took away the cork in 
his pocket. He practised this for a long period, and 
had at last collected such a quantity that they sold 
for nearly one hundred dollars ! A few months before 
his death, he refused to buy meat for soup. " I should 
like the soup," said he, " well enough, but I do not 
want the meat. What, then, is to become of that ? " 
The fear of losing the meat, led him to starve him- 
self; yet, at the very moment, he had 800 assignats, 
of 200 dollars each, in a silken bag, around his neck ! 


Another Frenchman, by the name of Fortescue, 
affords a curious piece of history. He was a farmer- 
general of the taxes, and amassed an immense fortune 
by grinding the poor. The government at length 
called upon him for a considerable sum, but he pleaded 
poverty. Fearing that some of his neighbors should 
testify to his wealth, he determined to conceal it. 
He therefore dug a vault beneath his wine-cellar, 
where he deposited his gold. He went down to it 
by a ladder, and fastened the door by a spring lock. 
One day, while he was in the vault, the door closed, 
and the lock fastened him in ! In vain were his cries 
for help ! There he remained, till, worn out by hor- 
ror of mind and starvation of body, he perished in 
the very midst of his heaps of gold ! His miserable 
fate was not known till some years after, when, his 
house being sold, his bones were discovered in the 
vault with his treasures. 

The celebrated John Elwes, whose portrait we 
have placed at the head of this article, has furnished 
a memorable instance of the inconsistency of man. 
He has showed that the most sordid parsimony 
may be combined with the greatest negligence and 
profusion, and that principles of the purest honor 
may be associated with a degree of meanness, that is 
utterly degrading to the human character. He was 
born in London, about the year 1714, his father's 
name being Meggot. He was educated at Westmin- 
ster school, and afterwards went to Geneva, where he 
seems to have led rather a gay life. 

On his return to England, his father being dead, 
he went to live with his uncle, Sir Harvey Elwes, a 


wealthy miser, who resided at Stoke, in Suffolk. In 
order to make a favorable impression upon his uncle, 
the nephew doffed his gay attire, at the little inn at 
Chelmsford, and appeared at Stoke with an old worn- 
out coat, a tattered waistcoat, darned worsted stock- 
ings, and small iron buckles in his shoes. He was 
received by Sir Harvey with satisfaction, who now 
adopted him as his heir. Here the two lived together, 
shivering with a single stick on the fire, occasionally 
dividing a glass of wine between them, and railing 
against the extravagance of the times. When night 
approached, they went to bed, to save the expense of 
candles ! 

But at last, Sir Harvey paid the debt of nature, 
and left his fortune, of more than a million of dollars, 
to his nephew. John Meggot, who was now about 
forty years old, adopted his uncle's surname agreea- 
bly to the will, and, while he inherited Sir Harvey's 
parsimony, he still addicted himself to gambling. He 
became a member of various clubs in London, and 
often played for very high sums. He once played 
two days and a night without intermission, the Duke 
of Northumberland being one of the party; and, as 
it was the custom among these gamblers in high life 
to throw aside the cards after being once used — at the 
close of the sitting, the party were nearly up to their 
knees in cards. 

While Elwes was thus engaged, he had the most 
grasping desire of money, and, having sat up all night 
at play with persons of the highest rank, he would 
walk out at four o'clock in the morning, to Smithfield, 
to meet his cattle cominof to market from his estates 


in Essex. There, forgetting the scenes he had just 
left, he would stand in the cold or rain, higgling 
with the butcher for a shilling. Sometimes, if the 
beasts had not arrived, he would walk on in the mire 
to meet them ; and more than once he has gone on 
foot the whole way to his farm, which was seventeen 
miles from London, without stopping, after sitting up 
all night. 

Mr. Elwes usually resided at Meacham, in Berk- 
shire. In travelling between this place and London, 
he used to put two or three eggs, boiled hard, with a 
few crusts of bread, into his great-coat pocket; then, 
mounting one of his hunters, he would set off, taking 
the route with the fewest turnpike gates. Avoiding 
the taverns, he would stop under a hedge, and, while 
he ate his frugal meal, the horse would refresh him- 
self by nibbling the grass. 

Notwithstanding this excessive meanness, Mr. 
Elwes displayed many instances of generosity. On 
one occasion, he lent Lord Abington £7000, at a very 
critical moment, and entirely unsolicited, and when 
he had little reason to suppose the money would ever 
be repaid. Beside, he made it a principle never to 
ask for money which he won at play, and thus he lost 
many thousands of pounds, which he might have 
received by demanding it. At the same time, he had 
an equanimity of temper which nothing could disturb, 
and a gentleness and urbanity of manner, which never 
forsook him. 

When he was somewhat advanced in life, he dis- 
missed his fox-hounds, retrenched his expenses, and 
lived in the most parsimonious manner. Riches now 


rolled in upon him like a torrent ; at the same time, 
his mean, miserly propensities increased. When in 
London, he would walk home in the rain, rather than 
pay a shilling for a coach ; and sit in his wet clothes, 
rather than have a fire to dry them. On one occa- 
sion, he wore a black wig above a fortnight, which he 
picked out of a rut in a lane, and which had probably 
been discarded by a beggar. While the black, stray 
wig was thus atop of his own gray hair, he one day 
tore his coat, and, in order to supply himself, resorted 
to an old chest of Sir Jervaise, his uncle's father. 
From this, he took the first he came to, which was a 
full-dress, green, velvet coat, with slashed sleeves. In 
this attire, he sat down to dinner : not even the sol- 
emn severity of his poor old servant could resist the 
ludicrous effect of his appearance. 

In order to invest his immense property, Mr. Elwes 
erected a great number of buildings in London, par- 
ticularly about the Hay-Market. He was the founder 
of a large part of Mary-le-bone, Portman Place, Port- 
man Square, and several of the adjacent streets. It 
was his custom in town, to occupy any one of his 
numerous houses that was vacant. Two beds, two 
chairs, a table and an old woman, comprised all his 
furniture. Thus he travelled from street to street, 
and it was often difficult to find him. 

One day, his nephew, Colonel Timms, came to 
town, and, wishing very much to see him, made a 
long, but ineffectual search for him. At last, he was 
directed to a particular house, which he found, and 
knocked loudly at the door, but no answer was re- 
turned. He then entered, but all was silent below. 



On ascending to one of the chambers, he found Mr* 
Elwes on a shabby pallet bed, in a state of insensibil- 
ity. The poor old woman, the partner of his jour- 
neys, was found lifeless on a rug in one of the garrets, 
where she had apparently been dead for at least two 
days, and where she had probably expired for want of 
the comforts of life. Mr. Elwes, being restored by 
cordials, stated that he had been sick for a long time, 
and wondered that the old woman did not come to his 

Notwithstanding the unfavorable traits in Mr. 
Elwes' character, yet such was the confidence reposed 
in his integrity, that, without his own solicitation, he 
was elected a member of the House of Commons, for 
Berkshire, which he represented for three successive 
parliaments. Nothing could exceed the rigid fidelity 
with which he fulfilled his duties here. His vote 
was always given according to his conscience, and, 
in all weathers, and during the latest sittings, he was 
in his seat. 

One night, as he was returning from the House of 
Commons, it being extremely dark, he ran against 
the pole of a sedan chair, and cut both his legs very 
badly. As usual, he refused to have medical assis- 
tance, but Colonel Timms insisted upon some one 
being called in. At length he submitted, and a sur- 
geon was sent for, who immediately began to expatiate 
on the ill consequences of breaking the skin, the good 
fortune of his being sent for, and the peculiarly bad 
appearance of the wounds. " Very probable," replied 

Mr. Elwes, " but, Mr. , I have one thing to say 

to you. In my opinion my legs are not much hurt ; 


now you think they are ; so I will make this agree* 
ment. I will take one leg, and you shall take the 
other ; you shall do what you please with yours ; I 
will do nothing to mine ; and I will wager your bill 
that my leg gets well before yours." He exultingly 
beat the surgeon by a fortnight. 

About the year 1785, Mr. Elwes paid a visit to his 
seat at Stoke, which he had not seen for some years. 
On his arrival, he complained of the expensive furni- 
ture of the rooms. To save fire, he would sit with a 
servant in the kitchen, or walk about the remains of 
a ruinous greenhouse. During harvest, he amused 
himself with gleaning the corn upon the grounds of 
his own tenants. In the autumn, he would pick up 
stray chips and carry them to the fire in his pocket. 
On one occasion, he was seen robbing a crow's nest for 
fuel. He denied himself the common necessaries of 
life : one day, he dined on a moor-fowl, which a rat 
had drawn out of a river, and, on another, he ate the 
undigested part of a pike, which was taken from the 
stomach of a larger fish, caught in a net. 

At last, the powers of life began to decay, and, in 
the autumn of 1786, his memory entirely failed him. 
On the 18th of November he sank into a state of 
extreme debility; yet he lingered till the 26th, when 
he expired without a sigh, leaving property to the 
amount of four millions of dollars. More than half 
of this was bequeathed to his two natural sons ; the 
rest, being entailed, was inherited by Colonel Timms. 
Such was John Elwes, a singular compound of par- 
simony and profusion, of generosity and meanness, 
of honesty and avarice, of virtue and vice, 


This strange character presents another remarkahle 
instance of inconsistency; of avarice and liberality, 
of cruelty and kindness, of meanness and integi'ity, 
of misanthropy and benevolence. He was the son 
of a German Jew, who settled in London, and left 
him his title, and a large estate. In 1758, he was 
married to a lady whose fortune amounted to 150,000 
pounds. In 1763, being left a widower, he married 

d'agcilar. 291 

a few days after, another lady of fortune. Up to this 
time, he had lived in the highest style of fashion, 
but, owing to the loss of an estate in America, and 
domestic disagreements, he now suddenly withdrew 
from his family connections and the society of the 
gay world, and established himself at a farm-house 
in Islington. Here he professed to be a farmer ; he 
stocked his yard with cattle, pigs, and poultry, yet he 
kept them in such a lean and miserable condition, 
that the place acquired the name of Starvation Farm- 

Everything in his establishment was conducted on 
ihe meanest scale ; yet D'Aguilar, at this very time, 
was a liberal patron of public institutions, and profuse 
in his charities. While his cattle were actually in 
the agonies of starvation, he was doing some kindly, 
yet secret act, to alleviate the distresses of the poor. 
His wife had been obliged to leave him, but, after a 
separation of twenty years, he called to see her, and 
a reconciliation took place. In a short time, how- 
ever, his extreme rigor compelled her again to leave 
him, and, by the advice of friends, she instituted legal 
proceedings against him. In this suit she was suc- 
cessful, and he was compelled to make a liberal pro- 
vision for her. 

At last, he was taken severely ill, and a physician 
was sent for, but he would not permit him to see him. 
He was therefore obliged to prescribe from a report 
of his symptoms. His youngest daughter begged 
permission to see him, but the stern father refused. 
In March, 1802, he died, leaving a property estimated 
at a million of dollars. His diamonds alone were 
worth thirty thousand pounds ! 


This gentleman was bred a bookseller, and began 
trade in the city of London, with no more than two 
hundred pounds. By his industry and uncommon 
frugality, but more particularly by purchasing sea- 
men's tickets in Queen Anne's wars, and by specula- 
tions in the South Sea stock, in the memorable year 
1720, he amassed an immense fortune. 

In proof of his penurious disposition, it is recorded 
of him that he invariably dined alone, and a soiled 
proof sheet, or an old newspaper, was his common 
substitute for a table-cloth. One winter evening, as 
he was sitting in his room, meditating over a handful 


of half-lighted embers confined within the narrow 
precincts of a brick stove, and without any candle, a 
person, who came to inquire for him, was introduced, 
and, after the first compliments were passed and the 
guest requested to take a seat, Mr. Guy lighted a far- 
thing candle which lay on the table by him, and de- 
sired to know the purport of the gentleman's visit. 

The stranger was the famous Vulture Hopkins, 
characterized by Pope in his satires. " I have been 
told," said Hopkins, " that you, sir, are better versed in 
the prudent and necessary art of saving than any man 
now living, and I therefore wait upon you for a lesson 
^of frugality; an art in which I used to think I ex- 
celled, but I have been told by all who know you, that 
you are greatly my superior." " And is that all you 
are come about?" said Guy; " why, then, we can 
talk this matter over in the dark." So saying, he 
extinguished his new-lighted farthing candle. Struck 
with this instance of economy, Hopkins acknowledged 
that he was convinced of Guy's superior thrift, and 
took his leave. 

The penuriousness of this singular man seemed, 
however, to have for its object the indulgence of a sys- 
tematic benevolence. He was the founder of a cele- 
brated institution called Guy's Hospital, which cost him 
nearly 100,000 dollars, and, at his death, he endowed 
it with a fund amounting to a million of dollars. Nor 
were his benefactions confined to this institution. He 
made provision for his poor relations, founded a hos- 
pital at Tamworth, and made various donations for 
benevolent and charitable objects. He died in 1724, 
at the age of 81 years, having never been married. 


The extreme limit of human life, and the art of 
attaining it, has attracted the attention of mankind in 
ancient as well as modern times. Cornaro, an Ital- 
ian, who died at the age of one hundred and four 
years, in 1566, wrote several treatises on this subject, 
the purpose of which was to prove that sobriety of life 
is the great secret of longevity. He shows that in 
his own case he restored a constitution prostrated by 

OLD PARR. 295 

indulgence, to health and vigor. One of his papers 
was written at the age of ninety-five, and is com- 
mended by Addison in the 195th paper of the Spec- 

Sir George Baker gives us the history of a remark- 
able restoration of a constitution broken down by 
indulgence, in the case of Thomas Wood, a miller of 
Essex, England. He had been long addicted to high 
living and the free use of fermented liquors, but, at 
the age of forty-five, finding himself overwhelmed 
with a complication of painful disorders, he set about 
changing his mode of life. He gradually became 
abstemious in his diet, and in 1765 he began to drink 
nothing but water. Finding himself one day better 
without taking any liquid, he at last took leave of 
drinking altogether, and from October, 1765, to the 
time when Sir George Baker's account was drawn 
up, in August, 1771, he had not tasted a drop of 
water, or any other liquid, except in one instance. 
During all this period his health seemed to improve, 
under the strict regimen he had adopted. 

The oldest man of whom we have any account iri 
modern times, was Henry Jenkins, who resided in 
Bolton, Yorkshire. The only history we have of 
him was given by Mrs. Saville, who conversed with 
him, and made inquiries respecting him of several 
aged persons in the vicinity. He was twelve years 
old at the time the battle of Flodden Field was fought, 
in 1513, and he died, December 8th, 1670. He was, 
therefore, 169 years old when he died. 

Of the celebrated Thomas Parr, we have a more par- 
ticular account, furnished by Taylor, the Waterman, 

296 OLD PARR. 

or Water-poet, as he is usually called. This is en- 
titled " The Olde, Olde, very Olde Man ; or the Age 
and Long Life of Thomas Parr, &c." It appears that 
the Earl of Arundel, being in Thropshire, heard of 
Parr, who was then, 1635, one hundred and fifty-two 
years old. Being interested in this extraordinary 
case of longevity, the earl caused Parr to be brought 
to London, upon a litter borne by two horses. His 
daughter-in-law, named Lucy, attended him, and, " to 
cheer up the olde man, and make him merry, there 
was an antique-faced fellow, called Jacke, or John 
the Foole," of the party. Parr was taken to court, 
and presented to Charles L He died in London soon 
after his arrival, and was buried in Westminster 
Abbey, 1685. 

AVhether Parr's long life was greatly lengthened 
beyond that of ordinary men by a peculiar mode of 
living, we have not the means of telling. It is prob- 
able that there was something peculiar in his consti- 
tution. His body was dissected after death, and all 
the organs were found in a perfect state. We are 
also informed by an eye-witness, that 

"From head lo heel, his body had all over 
A quick-set, thick-set, nat'ral hairy cover." 

We may here mention an instance of longevity 
attained by an individual who spent his whole life in 
London. This was Thomas Laugher, who was born 
in 1700. His father died at the age of 97, and his 
mother at the age of 108. Though he was a liquor 
dealer during the early part of his life, yet he drank 
only milk, water, coffee, and tea. After a severe fit of 
illness at the age of eighty, he had a fresh head of 



hair, and new nails, both on his fingers and toes. He 
had a son who died at the age of eighty, some years 
before him, whom he called " Poor Tommy," and who 
appeared much older than his father. Laugher was 
greatly respected for his gentle manners and uninter- 
rupted cheerfulness. He died at the age of 107. 
We have placed a sketch of him at the head of this 


That men of extraordinary stature, called giants, 
have frequently existed, we know, but 'there is no 
good reason to believe that the general stature of man 
was ever different from what it now is. If men were 
either smaller or larger than they are, they would be ill 
proportioned to the condition of things around them; 
beside, those of extraordinary height have usually a 

O'BRIEN. 299 

feeble pulse, ana short lives. Those greatly below 
the usual stature, generally die early. It is fair to 
infer from these facts, that the present average height 
of man is the permanent standard. Among the mum- 
mies of Egypt, or the ancient remains of mankind 
found in other countries, there appears to be no gen- 
eral deviation from the common height. 

Of the individual instances of great stature, Patrick 
O'Brien, born in the county of Kinsale, Ireland, in 
1761, affords a memorable instance. He was put to 
the trade of a bricklayer, but such was his height at 
eighteen, that he was taken to England, and shown 
as the Irish giant. At twenty-five he attained the 
height of eight feet and seven inches ; and, though 
not well made, his bulk was proportioned to his 
height. He continued to exhibit himself for several 
years, when, having realized an independence, he 
retired to the vicinity of Epping forest, where he 
died, in 1806. He was peculiarly mild and gentle in 
his character and manners. His body was enclosed 
in a leaden coffin, 9 feet 2 inches long, and to prevent 
any attempt to disturb his remains, his grave, by his 
own direction, was sunk twelve feet in the solid rock. 


This man was born at Leipsic, in 1694, and finally 
attained the height of eight feet. He travelled 
through Europe, being exhibited as a giant. He went 
to England in 1733, where he attracted attention by 
his great size, his enormous head and face, and his 
fantastic attire. His hand measured a foot, and his 
finger nine inches. He died in London, in 1734, 
aged 40. 


It was formerly said that the Patagonians were a 
race of giants, but it seems that they are but little 
larger than other races of men. South America ap- 
pears to furnish its share of persons of extraordinary 
height. An instance is furnished in Basileo Huyalas, 
who was a native Indian of Peru, and was brought 
from the city of lea to Lima, in May, 1792, to be 
exhibited on account of his enormous stature and 
extraordinary appearance. 

His height was seven feet two inches and a half: 
his head, and the upper parts of his body, were men- 



strous. His arms were of such length as to touch 
his knees, when he stood erect. His whole weight 
was 360 pounds. At this period he was twenty-four 
years old. The annexed sketch gives a good idea of 
his appearance. 

We are furnished with an account of a giant of 
New Grenada, an Indian, named Pedro Cano, who 
was seven feet five and a half inches high. His 
shoe was half a yard in length ! 


This man, whose feats of strength might have fig- 
ured with those of the heroes of Homer, was born 
in London, about the year 1710. He was bred a 
carpenter, and attained the height of five feet ten 
inches, being well proportioned in other respects. At 
the age of twenty-four, he took a tavern on the city 
road, and displayed his extraordinary powers in the 
gymnastic exhibitions then common at Moorfields. 

304 TOPHAM. 

He was here accustomed to stop a horse by pulling 
against him, his feet being placed against a low wall. 
A table six feet long, with half a hundred weight 
upon it, he lifted with his teeth, and held it for some 
time in a horizontal position ! 

His fame for strength spread over the country, and 
his performances excited universal wonder. He 
would throw a horse over a turnpike gate, carry the 
beam of a house as a soldier his firelock, break a rope 
capable of sustaining twenty-two hundred weight, 
and bend a bar of iron an inch in diameter by strik- 
ing it against his naked arm, into a bow ! On one 
occasion, he found a watchman asleep in his box ; 
he took them both on his shoulder, and carried them 
to the river, where he tipped them into the water. In 
May, 1741, he lifted three hogsheads of water, weigh- 
ing 1836 pounds ! 

Though possessed of such wonderful strength. Top- 
ham was of a mild and pacific temper. His mind 
does not appear to have possessed the energy of his 
body, for, being deceived by a faithless woman, he 
resorted to the desperate resolution of taking his own 
life, and died by suicide in the flower of his age. 


This famous pedestrian was born near Leeds, in 
1734. In 1762, he came to London, and articled 
himself to an attorney in the Temple. After the ex- 
piration of his clerkship, he was in the service of 
different persons, and in 1764, he walked fifty miles 
on the Bath road, in seven hours. He now visited 
several parts of Switzerland and France, where he 
gained much praise as a pedestrian. In 1773, he 



walked from London to York, and back again, upon 
a wager, a distance of 402 miles, in five days and 
eighteen hours. In 1778, he attempted to run two 
miles in ten minutes, but lost it by half a minute. 

In 17S7, he undertook to walk from Canterbury to 
London bridge and back again, in twenty-four hours, 
the distance being 112 miles, and he accomplished it, 
to the great astonishment of thousands of spectators. 
He performed many other extraordinary feats, and 
died in 1793. Though he had great opportunities 
of amassing money, he was careless of wealth, and 
died in indigent circumstances. His disposition was 
mild and gentle, and he had many friends. 


In a work devoted to the curiosities of human 
nature, we must not omit Joseph Clark, of London, a 
man whose suppleness of body rendered him the won- 
der of his time. Though he was well made, and 
rather gross than thin, he could easily exhibit every 
species *of deformity. The powers of his face were 
even more extraordinary than the flexibility of his 
body. He would suddenly transform himself so com- 



pletely as not to be recognised by liis familiar acquain- 
tances. He could dislocate almost any of the joints 
of his body, and he often amused himself by impos- 
ing upon people in this way. 

He once dislocated the vertebrae of his back and 
other parts of his body, in such a manner, that Molins, 
the famous surgeon, before whom he appeared as a 
patient, was shocked at the sight, and would not even 
attempt his cure. On one occasion, he ordered a 
coat of a tailor. When the latter measured him, he 
had an enormous hump on his left shoulder ; when 
the coat came to be tried on, the hump was shifted to 
the right side I The tailor expressed great, astonish- 
ment, begged a thousand pardons, and altered the coat 
as quickly as possible. When he again tried it on, 
the deformity appeared in the middle of his back ! 

Of the life of this remarkable person, we have few 
details, and we can only add that he died about the 
year 1700. 


This individual, who was remarkable for his great 
size, combined with active habits, was born in Essex, 
England, about the year 1720. He \veig-hed 144 
pounds at the age of twelve years. When he grew 
to manhood, he established himself as a grocer at 
Maiden, about forty miles from London. He gradu- 
ally increased in size, till he weighed nearly 500 
pounds. He was still industrious and active in his 
mode of life, riding on horseback, and walking with 
ease. He paid close attention to his business, and 
went frequently to London to purchase goods. 



At the age of twenty-three, he was married, and 
had five children. He was cheerful and good-natured, 
a kind husband, a tender father, a good master, and 
an honest man. When thirty years of age, he was 
taken with fever, and died, November 10th, 1750. 
At the period of his death he weighed 616 pounds. 


This mdividual was born at Leicester, England, in 
1770, and was apprenticed to the business of a die 

LAMBERT. 31 1 

sinker and engraver. He afterwards succeeded his 
father as keeper of the prison ; and from this period, 
his size began to increase in a remarkable degree. In 
this situation he continued for some years, and so 
exemplary was his conduct, that when his office was 
taken away, in consequence of some new arrange- 
ments, he received an annuity of fifty pounds for life, 
as a mark of esteem, and the universal satisfaction he 
had given in the discharge of his duties. 

His size increased to such a degree, that he w^as an 
object of universal wonder, and was at last persuaded 
to exhibit himself in London. Here he was visited 
by crowds of people, and, among the rest, by Count 
Boruwlaski, the Polish dwarf. The contrast between 
the two must have been striking indeed ; for as Lam- 
bert was the largest man ever known, so the count 
was one of the smallest. The one weighed 739 
pounds, and the other probably not over 60. Here 
were the two extremes of human stature. 

In general, the health of Lambert was good, his 
sleep sound, his respiration free. His countenance 
was manly and intelligent ; he possessed great infor- 
mation, much ready politeness, and conversed with 
ease and propriety. It is remarkable that he was an 
excellent singer, his voice being a melodious tenor, 
and his articulation clear and unembarrassed. He 
took several tours through the principal cities and 
towns of Great Britain, retaining his health and spir- 
its till within a day of his death, which took place in 
June, 1809. His measure round the body was 9 
feet 4 inches, and a suit of clothes cost him a hun- 
dred dollars ' 


In the early ages of the world, when knowledge 
chiefly depends upon tradition, it is natural for man- 
kind to people the universe with a thousand imaginary 
beings. Hence the stories of dragons, giants, and 
dwarfs, all of which have some foundation in reality ; 
but when these are scrutinized, the dragon becomes 
only some wild beast of the forest, the giant is a man 
of uncommon size, and the dwarf of uncommon little- 

HUDSON. 313 

We have already given some account of giants : 
we must say a few words in respect to dwarfs. These 
have never been known to be distinguished for their 
talents, though their figures are often perfectly well 
formed. They have generally one trait in common 
with children — a high opinion of their own little per- 
sons, and great vanity. In the middle ages, and even 
down to a much later period, dwarfs were a fashiona- 
ble appendage to royal courts and the families 
of nobles. 

Among the most celebrated of this class of persons 
was Jeffrey Hudson, born at Oakham, England, in 
1619. At seven years of age, he was taken into the 
service of the Duke of Buckingham, being then but 
eighteen inches high. He afterwards was taken into 
the service of the queen of Charles L, who sent him 
to the continent on several confidential commissions. 
His size never exceeded three feet nine inches, but he 
possessed a good share of spirit, and, on the breaking 
out of the civil wars, he became a captain of horse. 

On one occasion, he went to sea, and was taken by 
a Turkish corsair, and sold for a slave ; but he was 
fortunately ransomed, and enabled to return to Eng- 
land. When the infamous Titus Oates pretended to 
reveal a plot against the king, Charles II., Hudson 
was one of the suspected persons, and, in consequence, 
lay some time in prison. He was at length released, 
and died in 1678. 


This little personage was one of the most famous 
and agreeable of the pigmy race to which he belonged. 
He was a native of Poland, and, on account of his 
diminutive size, was early taken under the care of a 
lady of rank. She soon married, however, and he 
was transferred to the Countess Humieska, and accom- 
panied her to her residence in Podolia. Here he 
remained for six months, and then attended the count- 
ess on a tour of pleasure through Germany and 


France. At Vienna, he was presented to the em- 
press queen, Maria Theresa, being then fifteen years 
old. Her majesty was pleased to say that he was 
the most astonishing being she ever saw. 

She took him into her lap, and asked him what he 
thought most curious and interesting at Vienna. " I 
have observed nothing," said the little count, smartly, 
" so wonderful as to see such a little man on the lap 
of so great a woman." This delighted the queen, 
and, taking a fine diamond from the finger of a child 
five or six years old, who was present, placed it on 
his finger. This child was Marie Antoinette, after- 
wards queen of France ; and it may be easily ima- 
gined that Boruwlaski preserved the jewel, which was 
a very splendid one, with religious care. 

From Vienna, they proceeded to Munich and other 
German cities, the little companion of the countess 
everywhere exciting the greatest interest and curios- 
ity. At Luneville, they met with Bebe, a famous 
French dwarf. A friendship immediately commenced 
between the two little men, but Bebe was four inches 
the tallest, and Boruwlaski, being therefore the smaller 
of the two, was the greatest wonder. He was also 
remarkable for his amiable and cheerful manners. 
These things excited the jealousy of Bebe, and he 
determined to take revenge. One day, when they 
were alone, slily approaching his rival, he caught him 
by the waist, and endeavored to push him into the 
fire. Boruwlaski sustained himself against his adver- 
sary, till the servants, alarmed by the noise of the 
scuffle, came in and rescued him. Bebe was now 
chastised and disgraced with the king, his master, 
and soon after died of mortification and spleen. 


The travellers now proceeded to Paris, where they 
passed more than a year, indulging in all the gaieties 
of that gay city. They were entertained by the royal 
family and the principal nobility. M. Bouret, re- 
nowned for his ambition and extravagance, gave a 
sumptuous entertainment in honor of Boruwlaski, at 
which all the table service, platesj knives and forks, 
were of a size suited to the guest. The chief dishes 
consisted of ortolans and other small game. 

The countess and her charge returned to Warsaw, 
where they resided for many years. At twenty-five 
the count fell in love with a French actress, but she 
made sport of his passion, and his little heart was 
nearly broken. When he was forty years old, the 
black eyes of Isalina Barboutan, a domestic companion 
of the countess, again disturbed his peace ; he declared 
his affection, but was again rejected. He, however, 
persevered, even against the injunctions of his patron- 
ess. She was so much offended with his obstinacy, 
that she ordered him to leave her house forever, and 
sent Isalina home to her parents. 

He now applied to prince Casimir, and, through his 
recommendation, was taken under the patronage of 
the king. Continuing his addresses to Isalina Bar- 
boutan, he was accepted, and they were soon after 
married. By the recommendation of his friends, he 
set out in 1780 to exhibit himself in the principal 
cities in Europe. His wife accompanied him, and, 
about a year after their marriage, presented her hus- 
band with a daughter. 

Passing through the great cities of Germany and 
France, the count arrived in London, where he was 



liberally patronized. He not only had exhibitions of 
his person, but he gave concerts which were well 
attended. In 1788, he wTote his life, which was pub- 
lished in an octavo volume, and was patronized by a 
long list of nobility. He at last acquired a compe- 
tence, and retired to Durham with his family, where 
he spent the remainder of his days, and died at the 
age of nearly 100 years. He had several children, 
and lived happily with his wife, though it is said, that, 
in an interview with Daniel Lambert, he remarked 
that she used to set him on the mantel-piece, when- 
ever he displeased her. 


In the year 1S29, Captain Coffin, of the American 
ship Sachem, arrived in the United States, with two 
youths, born in the kingdom of Siam, and united by 
a strong gristly ligature at the breast. Their names 
were Eng and Chang, and thby were natives of Mak- 
long, a village on the coast of Siam. They were 
born in May, 1811, of Chinese parents, who were in 
humble circumstances. They were engaged in fish- 
ing, keeping poultry, and manufacturing cocoa-nut 
oil, till they left their country. When they arrived, 
they were five feet two inches in height, well made, 


and muscular. They have been known to carry a 
person weighing 280 pounds. 

The band that united these two persons was a car- 
tilaginous substance, an eighth of an inch thick, and 
an inch and a half wide. It was flexible, and per- 
mitted the youths to turn in either direction. It was 
covered with skin, and seemed to be without pulsa- 
tion. It was very strong, and of so little sensibility, 
that it might be smartly pulled, without seeming to 
give uneasiness. When touched in the centre, it was 
equally felt by both ; but at half an inch from the 
centre, it was felt by only one. 

They were agile, could walk or run with swiftness, 
and could swim well. Their intellectual powers 
were acute ; they played at chess and draughts re- 
markably well, but never against each other. Their 
feelings were warm and affectionate, and their con- 
duct amiable and well-regulated. They never en- 
tered into conversation with each other, bej^ond a 
simple remark made by one to the other, which seemed 
to be rationally accounted for by the fact, that, their 
experience being all in common, they had nothing to 
communicate. The attempt has frequently been made 
to engage them in separate conversations with differ- 
ent individuals, but always without success, as they 
are invariably inclined to direct their attention to the 
same thing at the same time. 

In their movements perfect equanimity is observed ; 
the one always concurring with the other, so that 
they appear as if actuated by a common mind. In 
their employments and amusements, they have never 
been known to utter an angry word towards each 


Other. Whatever pleases or displeases one, has the 
same effect on the other. They feel hunger and 
thirst at the same time, and the quantity of food taken 
by them is as nearly alike as possible. Both feel the 
desire to sleep simultaneously, and they always awake 
at the same moment. Upon the possibility of sepa- 
rating" them with safety, there is some difference of 
opinion among medical men. 

These two youths excited an extraordinary sensa- 
tion upon their arrival in this country. For three or 
four years, they were exhibited here, and in Europe, 
and, finally, having obtained a competence, they pur- 
chased a farm in North Carolina, and established 
them^selves as planters, where they still reside. They 
furnish the only instance in which two individuals 
have been thus united, and their case has probably 
excited more interest than any other freak of nature 
that has ever happened. 

The most curious part of the story of Eng and 
Chang, is, that on the 13th of April, 1843, they were 
married to two sisters, Sarah and Adelaide Yeates, 
of Wilkes county, North Carolina ! 


SPECIAL COLL PS1754.C926 1843 [ 
Curiosities of human nature 

3 R'^R^ DDD71 m3 b 
Date Due 

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SPECIAL COLL PS 1754 .C926 1 
CGoodrichy Samuel 6riswold.1 

Curiosities of huiuan naturp 



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